Govt reexamining proposed amendments for constl status to NCM

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New Delhi, Dec 26 (UNI) The Government is examining afresh certain issues pertaining to the proposed amendments to give a Constitutional status to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM).

It went in for a fresh look at the issues in the light of some representations made to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Fresh notices to the Lok Sabha Secretariat will be given only after these issues are resolved, the Ministry of Minority Affairs said here in a review of its activities during 2007.

The Cabinet had in its meeting recently approved the Note to move official amendments to the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Bill, 2004 and the National Commission for Minorities (Repeal) Bill, 2004.

The Ministry, created on January 29, 2006 to ensure a focused approach to the issues relating to the minorities, said in a relatively short period of time, it had made itself functional and efforts had been made to streamline ongoing programmes/schemes for the welfare of the minority communities.

It said work was progressing fast on the Prime Minister's New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities The programme was approved by the Cabinet in June, 2006. The Prime Minister has written to all Chief Ministers seeking their cooperation and advising them to put in place a suitable monitoring mechanism.

Detailed guidelines have been issued. Earmarking of outlays and targets for eight of the nine schemes, considered amenable to such earmarking, has been done with the approval of the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Rural Development has amended the guidelines for the three schemes included in the programme.

Guidelines have been issued by the Department of Personnel&Training (DOP&T) for improving the representation of minorities in government and public sector enterprises.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken initiative to put in place a mechanism for dealing with communal violence, offences and rehabilitation of victims.

It said follow-up action on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee was being taken.

The Ministry has been able to complete the identification through a comprehensive exercise based both on a population cut-off and relevant backwardness parameters.

The proposal was considered by the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) and recommended for consideration of the Cabinet.

The Cabinet approved the proposal on May 17 this year, including formulation of a special area development plans designed to tackle the relative backwardness of these districts. A sum of Rs.120 crore has been provided in the Annual Plan 2007-08 for implementing a multi-sectoral development programme.

An amount of Rs 4.98 crore has been sanctioned to the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, for carrying out a baseline survey in the identified minority concentration districts.

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