JIH Vice President Salim Engineer criticizes Interim Budget for neglecting Health, Education, minorities

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India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI–Expressing deep disappointment, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), a prominent socio-religious organization, has highlighted the continued neglect of crucial sectors like health, education, and minority welfare in the recently presented Interim Union Budget.

Speaking at the JIH’s monthly press briefing today, JIH Vice President Prof. Salim Engineer highlighted that despite the National Health Policy calling for a 2.5% GDP allocation by 2025, the health budget, adjusted for inflation, has actually declined compared to the previous year. Outlining the importance of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) in addressing healthcare disparities in underserved areas, he also pointed to the scheme’s reduced funding, with a 33% dip compared to the previous year’s allocation.

On education, Prof. Salim said that while the National Education Policy 2020 recommends a 6% GDP public spend, the allocation in the latest budget remains low at 3.29%. He urged the government to raise this share to 6%, stating that overall, the education sector allocations have been inadequate.

The JIH leader expressed dissatisfaction with the unchanged Union Minority Ministry budget, despite marginal increases for certain programs. Highlighting a decrease in the budget for minority education empowerment, including the cancellation of scholarship schemes, Prof. Salim said, “In fact, the budget for total education empowerment of minorities was slightly decreased by nearly ₹125 crore, reportedly due to cancellation of scholarship schemes like pre-metric and the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF).”

While acknowledging the increased allocation for madrasa education, Prof. Salim stressed the need for broader educational upliftment for minorities. He said, “The Education Scheme for Madrasas and Minorities has been increased in the revised budget to ₹5 crore after being slashed to ₹2 crore from ₹10 crore in the last budget.”

Urging the government to treat health, education and social welfare as priority sectors and allocate sufficient funds to uplift marginalized communities, he demanded that the Ministry of Minority Affairs’ budget must be enhanced to empower minorities educationally and economically.

The JIH Vice President expressed disappointment that the budget did not offer any meaningful tax relief to the common man or make significant changes to the direct and indirect tax structures.

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