Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said his ministry has recorded higher budgetary expenditure as compared to previous years, remarks which come after a parliamentary panel recently rapped it for alleged under utilisation of funds. Naqvi also told reporters that the ministry will be able to ensure 100 per cent spending on its major schemes by the end of the current fiscal. Expenditure of the ministry of minority affairs has been higher compared to last several years. By the month-end (as the financial year ends), we will be able to spend 100 per cent on welfare schemes, he told reporters here. The Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment in its report presented in Parliament on March 8 had expressed "frustration over perennial problem of under utilisation of budgetary allocations by the Union minority affairs ministry and said it would not make any more suggestion to the ministry on the matter. The trigger for the parliamentary committee's comment was the ministry allegedly spending only 66.58 per cent of the Rs 4,195.48 crore up to February 20. The committee noted that the under utilisation of funds was more or less due to the same reasons which were adduced by the ministry last year. Naqvi said 99 per cent of the ministry's schemes have gone online.
He cited example of the scholarship schemes like pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means going digital. The minister said scholarships have been provided through direct benefit transfer. 62 per cent of the beneficiaries are girl students, he added. He said the expenditure under the ministry's Maulana Azad National Fellowship till yesterday was over 80 per cent (Rs 99.87 crore). By month-end, we will be able to spend 100 per cent of allocation. The expenditure under multi-sectoral development programme is 87 per cent (Rs 1042.48 crore till yesterday). By month-end, we will be able to register 100 spending, he claimed. Naqvi said the ministry has extended full allocation of Rs 113 crore to the Maulana Azad Education Foundation. Besides, the allocation for the Waqf Board computerisation has gone beyond 100 per cent, he added. According to sources in the ministry, its expenditure on pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means programmes has been in a range between 80 per cent and 85 per cent. On the pre-matric scheme, the expenditure has been Rs 925.83 crore till yesterday. The spending on post-matric and merit-cum-means schemes have been Rs 395.84 crore and Rs 295.20 crore respectively, they said.
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