M A I N   N E W S

PM for fair share to minorities in jobs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for a fair and legitimate share for minorities in Central, State government and private sector jobs.

Addressing the fifth annual conference of the State Minorities Commission in Parliament House Annexe here today, Dr Manmohan Singh stressed the need to teach skills to youths belonging to the minorities. This, he said, would enable them get legitimate share in employment in the public and private sectors.

The Prime Minister said communal peace and harmony should be maintained and those who seek to disturb communal peace and harmony should be dealt with firmly. He said riot victims should be provided effective relief and rehabilitation. “There should be regular monitoring about the effectiveness and adequacy of any such assistance,” he added.

Addressing the conference, Union Minister for Minority Affairs A.R. Antulay said equitable and inclusive growth was the touchstone on which the quality of economic progress had to be judged, whether it was between regions, groups or communities.

“As India moves on to a higher growth path, it becomes even more important for us to ensure that those who are lagging behind don't get left behind but participate in and share equally in our progress.”

Mr Antulay expressed concern over the fact that minorities, in general, and a section of the minorities, in particular, were lagging behind other communities in respect of many socio-economic indicators. He said such conditions breed discontent and make people vulnerable to mischief of disgruntled elements of society.

He said it was important to transform such pockets of discontent into areas of hope and success. He informed the gathering that his ministry was engaged in the task of identifying areas that deserved focussed attention and had almost completed the exercise.

Referring to the Prime Minister's 15-point programme for the welfare of minorities, the minister said the programme lays emphasis on the maintenance of communal peace and harmony and ensuring reasonable representation of minorities in the government and the private sectors. He said the ministry would monitor the programme very closely. Apart from this, Committees of Secretaries would monitor the progress every six months and submit a report to the Cabinet. The States had also been asked to put similar arrangements in place.

Mr Antulay expressed concern over the manner in which some states had handled the rehabilitation of families displaced by communal riots. He said even Central funds had not been used properly.

Speaking on the occasion, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said further efforts would be made to empower the National Commission for Minorities. He said the government would soon enact a comprehensive legislation to tackle all aspects of communal violence and also bring out a new police Act.

In his welcome address, National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Chairperson M. Hamid Ansari expressed the hope that the government's decision to upgrade the status of the NCM to a constitutional body would give adequate powers to the Commission to investigate into complaints. He hoped that the Bill would be enacted in the forthcoming Winter session of Parliament.



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