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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Nod for funding in religious places

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 06, 2013
First Published: 00:42 IST(6/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:44 IST(6/2/2013)

Doing something for the dead is considered good virtue. Members of Parliament (MP) can now claim so by using public money for improvement of crematoriums and burial grounds within religious places.

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The MPs till now were not allowed to use their local area development fund in religious places on the grounds that public money should be used only for secular purposes.

But, they were allowed to allocate money from the fund for crematoriums or burial grounds not on the land owned by religious places.

The provision worked well for with most religious groups but the Christians felt left out. Reason: many cemeteries — burial ground of Christians —are on Church premises.

It had caused some hurt-burn with the ministry of statistics and programme implement, who executes the MPLAD scheme, getting several representations pointing out the anomaly.

The ministry was quick to act and told the state governments that construction of crematoriums and structures on burial or cremation grounds can be taken up within the area of places of religious worship.

“Only common works, such as boundary walls, laying of payments would be permitted. No work for individual burial structure will be permissible,” ministry order said.

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