Amid reports of encroachments of a large number of wakf properties in the country, Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday favoured registration of such properties to resolve the issue.
"We want to put an end to the sale of property (of Wakfs) because sale is being misused. We want regsitrations of wakf properties so that a record can be kept. If people have a problem to it, we are willing to talk," Khurshid said.
The minister also referred to the government's recent initiatives to introduce reforms in the managament of wakf properties by amending the existing Wakf Act.
The Wakf Amendment Bill 2010, which seeks to bring amendments in the existing Wakf Act, 1995 had to be referred to a select committee due to vocieferous protests by some Muslim MPs as well as All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
The AIMPLB held the view that the bill which seeks to make registration of wakf properites mandatory will affect Muslims claim on Babri structure, a contention vehemently denied by the Minority Affairs Ministry.
Refusing to accept that Congress is dragging its feet on the issue of wakf reforms due to political considerations, Khurshid said the government is trying to bring improvements in the existing law on wakf management.
"We are trying to bring improvements. Lok Sabha supported it. Many members in Rajya Sabha wanted to have a re-look on it. We said very good, refer it to the select committee," Khurshid said.
On the issue of encroachment of wakf properties, he recalled that late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had once written to Chief Ministers of all the states to vacate the encroached land of wakf boards. He said that the government intends to give the power of monitoring to the Central Wakf Council and set up more powerful tribunals to address the issue of encroachment of wakf properties.