Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jain Minority: Certificates to Prove Religious Identity


NEW DELHI: People belonging to minority groups, including Muslims, Jains and Sikh, will now need a certificate to prove their religious identity if they want to avail government policies meant for them. To curb misuse of policies, particularly those involving loans and scholarships for minorities, Delhi government is working on a policy that will help it certify the bona fide of the applicant.

Revenue minister Arvinder Singh Lovely announced this in Delhi assembly in response to a series of queries raised by various MLAs on difficulties faced by applicants while availing these policies. The policies include various scholarship programmes for minority students, loan of upto Rs 3 lakh for higher studies and Dilli Swarojgar Yojana where SC/ST/Minorities/OBCs are provided loans up to Rs five lakh to help them set up a venture in Delhi.

"We are in process of making a policy that will help members of the minority community establish their identity on paper to avail facilities like loan, etc as bank work cannot be done without papers. It has already been discussed with chief minister Sheila Dikshit," said Lovely.

Earlier, during the discussion, power minister Haroon Yusuf suggested that a board or any other competent authority be set up by the revenue department to issue certificates to minorities.

Yusuf's suggestion came on social welfare minister Kiran Walia's statement saying that her department as of now follows the guidelines of Delhi Minorities Commission to ascertain a claim. "For Muslims, we were told that certificates are being issued by the Fatehpuri mosque to be used for claims. For other minorities, a similar certificate can be procured from their respective religious authorities," she said.

Sources said initially the government had suggested to rope in the area MLA for the process, but it was not considered feasible as only an executive is authorized to issue a certificate on behalf of the government.

"A few meetings have already been convened with senior officers of revenue department to work out a plan," said a senior government official.

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