Pan India

Minority Budget sees steady decline since BJP came to power; further reduced by 38% this year

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has allocated Rs 3097 crore to the Ministry of Minority Affairs in the Union Budget of the financial year 2023-24, which is Rs 1922 crore less than the budget of the previous financial year. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget in the Parliament. This year’s minority budget has been reduced by 38% compared to last year.

According to a report, “Between 2006 and 2013, the budget allocation for the Ministry of Minority Affairs increased rapidly, starting from Rs.144 crore to Rs.3,531 crore. Since then, there has been a steady decline.”

While the allocation for other Ministries continues to grow at a rapid pace, the Ministry of Minority Affairs continues to make up a very small percentage of the total yearly budget allocations.

The 2021-22 budget had less than 0.2 per cent of the total Union Budget 2021-22 earmarked for the development of minorities.

With a hike of just Rs. 674.05 crore, the budget was increased to Rs.5,020.50 crore in 2022-23 from the 2021-22 allocation of Rs. 4,346.45 crore. But there has been no increase in funding for the Ministry’s prominent programmes. MANF scheme by Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) has been cancelled. Funds for minority programmes such as Skill development and livelihood’, ‘Total Skill Development and Livelihoods,’ Nai Manzil, and ‘Leadership Development of Minority Women’ were also slashed.

A 2022 report titled “In Search of Inclusive Recovery” by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) stated that the proportional representation of minorities was not taken into account when allocating funds for 2022–23.

The report claimed that since 2012-13, a “declining trend” has been observed in the share of the overall budget expenditure towards minorities.

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