BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: Maulana Arshad Madani, president, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH), on May 22 asked the central government to abandon its plan of bringing waqf land under National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) in the proposed Waqf Amendment Bill 2010. He was addressing ‘All India Protection of Auqaf Conferen’ organized by the JUH on Sunday at India Islamic Cultural Centre.
“The government must take Muslim organisations into confidence before passing the Waqf Amendment Bill 2010 and should give an assurance to protect over 4 lakh acres of Waqf land across the country,” Madani said. He asked the government to abandon its plan of bringing waqf land under National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation as it was “unacceptable” to them.
“We will not accept any such flawed bill which does not give an assurance of complete protection of 4 lakh acres of Muslim ‘Aukaf’ or Waqf land spread all across the country and which does not make sure that revenue generated through the Waqf land will be used only for the benefits of Muslims,” he said.
The Central Waqf Council had sent a proposal to the government recommending the constitution of NMDFC under Company Act to look after waqf land, Madani informed the conference, which was also attended by Rajya Sabha Deputy Speaker K Rahman Khan.
Madni said that it was proposed that the central government would have a share of 51% in the corporation while the remaining 49% would be shared by Waqf Board, Central Waqf council and other related institutions.
The money generated under this mechanism was proposed to be used for the benefits of poor Muslims, widows, children and other marginalised section of the Muslim community, he said.
“Our recommendation was even appreciated by the Sacchar Committee and the Joint Parliamentary Committee headed by Rahman Khan, deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, in their reports,” he said.
However, the government has decided to form ‘Waqf Development Agency’ on the recommendation of the NMDFC, wherein the central government will only have a share of 26% while the remaining 74% will be shared by the private sector.
“The revenue generated by the waqf land is meant for Muslims, but the NMDFC works for other communities as well. We want to ask how can our money be used for other communities?” he asked.
He sought to know why Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid was not willing to listen to their grievances. “Despite that, we have written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the cabinet secretary last year bringing into their notice our objections regarding this.”