Nitish’s Rs100 Cr Allocation for Minorities Stands at Rs56 Per Head. Are You Joking, Mr. CM?

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How this Rs100 crore will generate employment in the state for a community of 1.75 crore.

MUMTAZ ALAM | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI / PATNA — The Bihar government of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has decided to allocate Rs. 100 crore per year for employment generation among minorities in the state. Is it really an honest effort for economic upliftment of these communities or just a tokenism to keep a section of the voters in good humor? But given the huge population of the minorities (over 1.7 crore) in the state, it appears to be a cruel joke, nothing else.

‘Concerned’ with gross unemployment among minorities, the state cabinet chaired by CM Nitish Kumar on Tuesday gave its nod for an amendment in the guidelines for “Mukhayamantri Alpasankhyak Rozgar Rin Yojana” (Chief Minister Minorities Employment Loan Scheme). The amendment will enable the Nitish government to allocate Rs 100 crore every year to the State Minorities Finance Commission, with effect from the financial year 2017-18.

Also read: Bihar Government Sanctions Rs. 100 Crore A Year For Minorities

As per Census 2011, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain together account for 17% of the state population or in crude numbers, they are 1,77,55,202 out of total population of 10,40,99,452. Muslims alone are 1.75 crore. When one divides the sum of Rs 100 crore among the population of these five minorities in the state, it stands at just Rs 56 per head. What kind of employment will this amount generate?

Population of Bihar (Census 2011)

Total Population

104099452

Hindu

86078686

Muslim

17557809

Christian

129247

Sikh

23779

Buddhist

25453

Jain

18914

Total Population of Minorities:1,77,55,202

One can argue that the loan scheme is for working adults, not the entire population. True. But the current amendment in the above minority loan scheme makes several millions of minority people eligible for the benefit. Families with an annual income of less than Rs. four lakh would be eligible for availing the benefits of this scheme. This upper limit of annual income translates into Rs 33,000 per month. Even an ordinary person can figure out that millions of people will be eligible for the scheme. The Economic Survey 2016-17 of Bihar had put the per capita income of the state at Rs 36,964 during the financial year 2015-16.

Though the annual grant of Rs 100 crore would be for all five minorities, the ruling party Janata Dal-United of Nitish Kumar, as has been usual for any ruling party, would go to town claiming that this has been done for welfare of Muslims and they would be asked to support the party. But neither Nitish nor his party will ever tell how this Rs 100 crore will generate employment for a community of 1.75 crore.

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