Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today claimed that “some forces” wanted to disturb peace and harmony in the country and called for the defeat of their “nefarious design”. Inaugurating a day’s workshop organised by BJP Delhi Minority Morcha, Minority Affairs Minister Naqvi said harmony and tolerance are in India’s “DNA” and none should be allowed to “weaken” the country’s unity. “Some forces want to disturb the country’s peace and harmony. We all have to work together to defeat any such nefarious design,” a statement quoted Naqvi as saying at the workshop. The minister, however, did not name any individual or party. “Harmony and tolerance are in the DNA of India…We should not allow anybody to weaken Indian culture of unity and brotherhood under any circumstances,” he said.
Hailing the rise in the budgetary allocation of his ministry for 2018-19, Naqvi listed several programmes being implemented by the government for the welfare of the communities to ensure their “empowerment without appeasement”. The government has been working for empowerment “without any discrimination”, he said. Referring to the “record” increase of Rs 505 crore in the ministry’s budget, he said it proved that the government’s priority was inclusive growth.
The ministry’s budget for 2017-18 was Rs 4,195 crore, which has been increased to Rs 4,700 crore for 2018-19. “This increase will be helpful in socio-economic-educational empowerment of minorities, especially in effective implementation of programmes aimed at educational development of girls,” he said. More than 65 per cent of the previous budget was spent for the “educational empowerment” and employment-oriented skill development of the minorities, he said.
Naqvi said instructions have been given to ministry officials to work out plan to ensure the benefits of the increased allocation reached the needy. He also said that 2.42 crore minority students were provided various scholarships during the last three years.