NEW DELHI, Jan 7: The Centre has set up an one-man ‘board of adjudication’ to look into complaints regarding waqf properties, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced here today and urged all states to establish three-member tribunals for the purpose at their levels.
Addressing the All India Waqf Conference at here, he also said the government has launched a campaign to free waqf properties from the clutches of “mafias” on a “war footing” and pitched for using those for socio-economic development of Muslims.
“The one-man board of adjudication, headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, has been established at Central level to deal with complaints regarding waqf properties,” the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs said.
“So far, 24 states have established the tribunals. We urge the remaining states to form such tribunals to look into complaints at their level,” he said.
During his speech, Naqvi asked CEOs and chairpersons of state waqf boards, present at the conference, to use waqf properties “properly” to ensure that those are used for welfare of the community.
There are about 4,49,314 registered and non-registered waqf properties across the country. The minister said in 2006 it was estimated the annual income of state waqf boards was Rs 163 crore, while the valuation of immovable properties was around Rs 1.2 lakh crore. At 10 per cent revenue of the value of waqf properties, they have the potential to generate Rs 12,000 crore annually, he claimed, adding, “This money can bring a change in the life of Muslims.”
Naqvi also said the Centre, in cooperation with states governments, will construct schools, colleges, malls, hospitals, skill development centres and others. Revenue generated from these will be used for educational and other developmental activities for the community.
Multi-purpose community centres and ‘sadbhav mandaps’ will also be constructed on waqf lands, which will be utilised for marriage ceremonies, exhibitions and also relief centres during calamities.
Asserting that there is no dearth of schemes and funds for development of minorities, the poor and weaker sections, he said, “The welfare schemes should not remain on paper but they should be converted into a reality. Officials should visit villages to ensure that benefits of welfare schemes are reaching to every needy person.” (PTI)