The UPA government's plan to review the Sachar Committee’s recommendations is yet to take off the ground. Seven months after the government formed the “Post-Sachar Evaluation Committee”, the high-power panel is yet to kick-start its work. The functioning of the committee, headed by Jawaharlal Nehru University economist Prof. Amitabh Kundu, is marred by long delays and financial constrain.
The “Post-Sachar Evaluation Committee”, formed in August, six months after it was announced, is yet to be allocated sufficient funds. Members of the panel were asked to spend their own money. The absence of money had its first casualty as the committee postponed its meeting scheduled on October 3. The panel is supposed to submit its preliminary report in December .
Talking to The Hindu , Mr. Kundu said initial money has been allocated but there is no money for research and field trip. “We postponed the meeting because we want to sort out the finances first. In the present condition I cannot ask my colleagues to go on field trips”, said Mr. Kundu, expressing hope that the panel will soon get the required resources from the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the nodal Ministry for the committee.
Ahead of the 2014 General Elections the committee to review implementation of Sachar recommendations was touted as the Congress’ way to deal with Muslim votes. The panel was formed after a barrage of complaints from the Muslim community and a perception widely shared by people inside and outside the government that minority welfare schemes have failed to reach the intended beneficiaries.
Sources in the panel said that the committee members were upset with the Ministry that their work, which entails getting secondary data and travelling across the country to analyse, investigate the situation on the ground, was “unnecessarily” being delayed.
One of the panel members said: “The government needs to come out of token politics. There should be enough resources at our disposal, given the seriousness and enormity of the task. In spite of several promises and reminders, we are yet to get the required resources.”
Chief scholar at the U.S.-India Policy Institute and member of the Sachar Committee Abusaleh Shariff who was the main motivator behind the formation of the panel, was extremely critical of the Government for delaying the committee’s work.