New Delhi, Feb. 25: “For financial inclusion, the flow of priority sector credit to minorities at the national level during 2012-13 reached Rs 1,71,960 crore as on 30/9/2012, which was more than 15% of the total priority sector lending,” said President Pranab Mukherjee while addressing the joint session of Indian Parliament on 21st February. But the million dollar question is: How much of this huge amount went to Muslims?
If you ask the Ministry of Finance or Ministry of Minority Affairs to divulge the details and give community-wise break-up, they won’t excusing they don’t maintain community-wise data. However, one can find a big and clear answer from the prevailing worse economic condition of the largest minority of the country. Just a minuscule part of the Rs 1.71 lakh crores went to Muslims while the largest part went to other four constitutionally recognized minorities – who are business communities like Sikh and Jain and Christians.
Reacting over the claim of Rs 1.71 lakh crore in credit to minorities, Syed Zahid Ahmad, Economic Analyst and Writer, says this is a bluff. Muslims have not got much of it.
Syed Zahid Ahmad, Business Writer and Economic Analyst
“It is just a bluff. Sachar Report has pointed out that Muslims have been underadvantaged as for credit to minorities is concerned. Majority of the credit for minorities have been drawn by Sikh and Christian communities. There is no report to prove that credit has flown to Indian Muslims,” he says in an exclusive interview with Muslim Mirror.
He says major chunk of the minority credit by scheduled commercial banks has been disbursed in Punjab, particularly Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
“If you see the allocation of credit given by banks you will find majority of it in Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In these places Muslims are very few. You see the population of Muslims in Punjab or Chandigarh. You cannot find much credit in Muslim-populated Assam, West Bengal and Bihar. Per capita credit in Bihar is just Rs 3500 while per capita credit in Chandigarh is more than Rs 5 lakh. So you can see which community is getting the enhanced credit facility,” said Mr. Zahid, Founder of EconomicInitiatives.com.
He also says that share of Muslims in bank deposit is 7.4% of the total national deposits while credit to minority is just 4.7%.
He says that Muslims have not been getting due share in the budget. “It’s true Muslims have not been given due share in the national expenditure. In fact before the year 2005, there was no budget at all for minority. It is only after the publication of Sachar Committee report, that the government started thinking about uplift of minorities.