Friday, 31 January 2014

Prime Minister Launchs National Waqf Development Corporation

Prime Minister Launchs National Waqf Development Corporation
The UPA Government has unwavering commitment for the protection and promotion of the interests of minorities. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said this while inaugurating National Waqf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO), a new Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Minority Affairs. 

The establishment of NAWADCO is another step forward in efforts to promote the interests of minorities in the country, he added. This Corporation has been established with Authorized Share Capital of Rs.500 Crore with a paid up capital of Rs.100 crore, the Prime Minister said. 

Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, UPA and National Advisory Council referred to various welfare schemes for minorities being implemented by the Centre.She said allocations for minority welfare programmes has been raised 10 times in the last 10 years.She cautioned that in spite of all efforts the benefits have not percolated to the desired beneficiaries.She asked to strengthen the monitory mechanism and grievance addressal system. 

Speaking on the occasion Shri K. Rahman Khan, Union Minister of Minority Affairs said that establishment of NAWADCO is first step towards creating Shariah–compliant infrastructure building institution. As in Islam, giving interest is a sin and a Quranic injunction, Muslims keep themselves away from normal banking channel. 

They look forward to the Government to facilitate establishment of certain Shariah compliant financial institutions, where the savings of Muslims can be deposited and used for their educational and economic development. The NAWADCO may also be an institution which can facilitate issuing of Shariah–compliant bonds to channelize savings of Muslims for community welfare. 

Elaborating further ,the Minister said that the Waqf means a dedication by any person of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognized by the Muslim law as pious, religious and charitable. Auqaf is considered as a Trust Asset and the role of the Trustee is to look after the assets and to ensure its perpetuity for the beneficiaries. There is a virtual collapse of institutions of Auqaf in India because of legislative lacuna; administrative lapses; lack of political Will; indifferent attitude of management of the Auqaf; and lack of integrity. 

This Corporation has been established with Authorized Share Capital of Rs.500 Crore with a paid up capital of Rs.100 crore. In this Corporation, the National Minority Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) has 49% shares. 

This Corporation will prove an important institution for the development of Waqf properties for the community welfare particularly for Muslims in India. The establishment of NAWADCO is a follow up of Sachchar Committee recommendation. India has the largest number of Waqf properties in the world. 

There are more than 4.9 lakh registered Auqaf (waqf properties) and the current annual income from these properties is about Rs.163 crores. Sachar Committee has estimated that such properties, if properly developed, with a minimum return of 10%, would be capable of generating an income of Rs.12000 crore per annum. 

NAWADCO will facilitate and mobilize financial resources for the development of Waqf properties for community development purposes in a joint venture with the State / Union Territory Waqf Boards and the Mutawallis. The Waqf Boards and the Muthawallis were not having the financial resources to develop the properties leading to encroachments. 

The total area under waqf properties all over India is estimated at about 6 lakh acres, the market value of which is about Rs.1.20 lakh crores. Many of these properties are on prime land and they have the potential of generating considerable returns, which in turn may be used for socio-economic development of deprived sections of Muslim community. 

Government of India has recently enacted the Waqf (Amendment) Act, 2013.This will make administration of waqf properties transparent and will provide an enabling environment for development and utilization of waqf lands for welfare of minorities. 

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