Rehan Ansari for BeyondHeadlines
Dr. Mahmoodur Rahman Committee has submitted its report on conditions of Muslims in Maharashtra to the Chief Minister. The committee was constituted by former Chief Minister Late Vilasrao Deshmukh in 2008 vide GR No. Asans- 2007/CR185/07/35/D-1 dated 6th May 2008 to examine the socio-economic situation of Muslims in the state.
Six members committee, headed by the retired bureaucrat Dr. Mahmoodur Rahman, became dormant after initially submitting its interim report in 2008. Shri Prithviraj Chauhan, after assuming the Chief Minister’s office, facilitated the committee to complete its work and it has submitted its final report.
Beyondheadlines will run a series on the recommendations of the Committee. First part is about the Economic upliftment.
Committee observes that the Unemployment is high among the Muslims and still higher among the Muslim women. Here are some important suggestions by the committee for economic upliftment of Muslims in Maharashtra.
1. 8 to 10% Reservations to Muslims in Government jobs. The report says that the share of Muslims in Government employment specially in Administration and Police is significantly lower that the share of their population in the state. The situation requires that the government should give priority to the issue of Muslims’ share in the government employment.
2- Committee observes that Muslims in Maharashtra have lower share in bank credit than other religious minorities due to black listing of the Muslim areas. It recommends, “RBI should strictly monitor the distribution of bank credit to Muslims and strict actions against banks in cases of non- cooperation and religious bias in the disbursal of credit.” It also suggests, “Issue of collateral requirements, subsidies, and interest rates should be considered.”
3- Given the landlessness among Rural Muslims it recommends the provisions of land allocation to the poor Muslims.
4- Availability of Ration cards to Muslims should be made easy to make them avail the schemes related to BPL and ration cards.
5- Promotion of micro-finance institution in Muslim concentrated areas to overcome the small credit crunch.
6- Maulana Azad Minorities Financial and Development Corporation needs to be urgently revamped with the provision of professional staff and computerization of its records to make it effective.
7- Since most of the Muslims are self employed, the committee recommended to establish ITIs and Polytechnic institution in Muslim areas. It also urged to strengthen the marketing networks and open new avenues for export of products by Muslim Artisans.
8- Women working from their homes get very little return, therefore the committee recommends, “Government should encourage NGOs and community based organizations to strengthen the marketing of the products and eases the regulatory frameworks to allow the exports of products.”