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Nothing for minorities in union budget 2019-20

Budget 2019-20

By Syed Zahid Ahmad

A democratic government may be as good as the public that cast their votes for the government. With the rise in the incidences of lynching, the minorities in the social environment  are fearing about a civil war. While the people involved in lynching shoot their activities and publicize it through media to terrorize the minority community, this government avoids saying anything about minority’s security.  Not astonishingly, it is a hurdle for minorities to prosper along with other communities.

On 5th July 2019, when the nation was celebrating the event of union budget for 2019-20; Muslims were receiving lathi charge in Surat for their road march to protest against mob lynching. They are told not to hold these marches without obtaining police permissions. Media is not telling the truth that neither the union Home Minister and the Supreme Court is eager to take prompt action against mob lynching nor the Indian police is allowing Muslims to protest against mob lynching.

Despite chanting slogan like ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas sabka vishwas’ this government has again proved that it is the least bothered for about minorities.  When the Union Budget 2019-20 was being presented in the Parliament, not even a single word about minorities was cited by the Union Finance Minister in her speech extending for over 2 hours. Perhaps the Minister of Minority Affairs did not feel the need to convey anything about the problems of Indian minority communities.

Whether it was Dr. Najma Heptullah or Mr. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi , the Minister of Minority Affairs in this Government doesn’t consider Muslims under the Minority category but rather considers them as the second largest community. In that case how can we hope that the government will try proposing genuinely needed schemes for Muslim development? Not to forget that on 9th December 2016, this Government silently rejected the RBI’s proposal related to interest – free banking in India. Neither the Minister of Minority Affairs likes to say anything on this issue nor does the Ministry of Finance or RBI like to review it as significant for the economy.

Under the leadership of Mr. Naqvi, the gross Union budget for Ministry of Minority Affairs remained unchanged at Rs. 4,700 crores. Considering the impact of inflation on money value, the annual budget amount for Ministry of Minority Affairs has actually devalued in 2019-20 compared to same amount for the year 2018-19.

Had this government  tried considering interest – free financial products as alternative mode of finance, this union budget could have been much better. Innovative equity and lease based products and mechanism could have opened new dimensions for the economy. Government should have enjoined new financial products by using the equity and lease products. This would have not only opened the gateway to draw foreign investments in India but would have also allowed reducing the fiscal deficit with scope to reduce government’s debt and has opened scope to reduce the tax rates.

The author is a Mumbai based economic expert . He can be reached at Email :

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