Launched amid much fanfare in February, the Commissionerate, designed to stem the rot in minority institutions, remains non-functional for want of staff

State departments related to the affairs of minorities are caught in a limbo. Vacancies at critical levels have slowed down the pace of work at a time when the budget for minority welfare is a whopping Rs. 1,027 crore this year.

Two months after the Minorities Commissionerate was created it remains non-functional for want of staff. Only four of the 27 posts sanctioned at the headquarters have been filled so far while all 41 posts at the district-level remain vacant.

The Commissionerate is tasked with monitoring the functioning of A.P. State Minorities Finance Corporation, Christian Finance Corporation, Urdu Academy, State Haj Committee, Wakf Board, Centre for Educational Development of Minorities, Survey Commissioner and Dairatul Maarif.

Commissioner M.A. Waheed feels the existing 12 District Minority Welfare Officers could be drafted into the Commissionerate so that its work doesn’t suffer. But so far there has been no response from the government on the matter. Another cause for concern is the imminent retirement of Mr. Waheed himself. Apart from the Minorities Commissionerate, he heads the A.P State Minorities Finance Corporation, Christian Finance Corporation, apart from being a member of the Wakf Board. That there are not many Muslim officers of this rank available to head the Commissionerate only worsens the problem.

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The post of the Principal Secretary, Minorities Welfare, is also vacant ever since Rani Kumudini went on central deputation. Raymond Peter, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare, is holding additional charge of the department. It being an election year, the government is said to be keen on appointing a Muslim officer to head the department. The names of senior IAS officers Mohammed Ali Rafath and Ahmed Nadeem, are doing the rounds.

Meanwhile, the government is considering posting Mehmood Mian, Deputy Secretary, Minorities Department, as CEO of the Wakf Board, relieving Abdul Hameed, who is the Haj Committee executive officer. But Mr. Mian is also due for retirement shortly.

While a number of vacancies are arising, the lack of initiative on the part of the Minorities Welfare Minister Mohammed Ahmadullah, is surprising.

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