Centre mulls US$ 3bn fund to give education to Muslims
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The Centre on Sunday said it will soon announce a special fund to the tune of US$ 3 billion for upliftment of the Muslim people by providing infrastructure, mainly for education.
"We need infrastructure. Indian Muslims need education and for that we need infrastructure. Currently we lack in infrastructure," Union Minister for Minority Affairs K Rahman Khan said in Guwahati.
"We are working on to create a fund of US$ 2-3 billion, which will be around Rs 10,000-15,000 crore. Even if only one per cent of Indian Muslims donate, we will be able to generate this amount," Khan said while delivering the keynote address during a function of American Federation of Muslims of India origin.
He said Muslim people in India have the resources but only need the mechanism to generate and manage the fund.
When asked by when the government is likely to finalise the fund, Khan said "We have been working on this for some time. Now we are going to announce it very soon."
He further said the government is taking all necessary steps to improve the conditions of the Muslims.
"The only priority of Indian Muslims is education. If you are educated, the society can be changed... Do not think that you are a minority, think that you are the second largest population in India," Khan said.
On utilisation of funds by the North Eastern states, the Minister said the Centre had allocated Rs 700 crore for a multi-sectoral development in the region during the 11th Five Year Plan.
"Utilisation of funds is very slow. We have had discussions with the Chief Minister. We urge the state governments to give priority and focus more on utilisation," he added.