A committee which reviewed Waqf Properties Lease Rules 2014 presented its report to Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday, recommending a slew of changes to bring clarity in rental norms and reduce litigation.
Naqvi said that the report will be implemented "as soon as possible" after being examined by his ministry.
"Modi government has been successfully carrying forward the campaign to utilise Waqf properties across the country for socio-economic empowerment of the needy sections," the Minister said.
The report recommends changes in Waqf Rules 2014 so that properties having lease rentals of Rs 3,000 are excluded from bidding process. It also provides relief to occupants of Waqf properties uninterruptedly from 1995 or before, extending lease renewal for 10 years as a one time concession, according to officials.
The report also recommends increasing lease period of properties used as shops from five to 10 years and, from one year to three years in case of agriculture purposes. It also rationalises security deposit payable on Waqf properties.
Another recommendation of the report is that legal heir of a tenant be entitled to transfer of unexpired period of lease on payment of transfer fee.
The five-member committee headed by Justice (retired) Zakiullah Khan was formed in March 2018 to review the rules related to Waqf properties.
Waqf is an Islamic endowment dedicated for purposes considered religious or charitable and it is used for welfare of the community. There are around 5.76 lakh registered Waqf properties across the country.
Naqvi voiced hope that the implementation of the report will help free Waqf properties from litigation and raise income from them.
The Minister said that under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK), the government also provides 100 per cent financial assistance in case of use of Waqf properties for building schools, hospitals, medical colleges, skill centres and other such establishments of public use.
The government is also carrying out GIS mapping of all Waqf properties in the country for its better management and use is welfare of the community.
The minister said Modi government has expanded development programmes for minorities in 308 districts of the country from earlier 90 such districts.
"During the last four-and-a-half years, under PMJVK, 16 degree colleges, 2,080 schools, 37,744 classrooms, 1,207 hostels, 178 ITIs, 48 polytechnics, 39,501 Anganwadi centres, 3,48,624 PMJAY houses, 386 Sadbhavna Mandaps, 79 residential schools, 508 market sheds and 17,397 drinking water facilities have been constructed by the Modi Government in the minority concentrated areas," he said.
The programme has also "accelerated" utilisation of Waqf properties for the benefit of society, he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)