To ensure that the government's minority programmes deliver before the next general elections, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will soon be calling a meeting of different ministries for effective implementation of minority related schemes.
The decision came after analysis of the recent Uttar Pradesh elections revealed that the Congress did not get enough votes from the Muslim dominated areas despite the Central government initiating several programmes for them.
There is a strong view within the UPA government that it failed to project the developmental works carried out in minority dominated areas and its implementation of the 2008 Sachar committee recommendations. This is despite the fact that PM's 15-point programme for minorities, designed to address major recommendations of the Sachar Committee, is being implemented.
Before the PM takes a review meeting, the PMO has directed all social sector ministries to evaluate the outcome of the expenditure for welfare of minorities and make it part of its people information campaigns.
"Minority welfare will have to be part of the outreach programme for each ministry," said a recent circular issued by the Information and Broadcasting ministry on directions of the PMO.
To ensure that there is a campaign on minority welfare before next general elections in 2014, the Ministry of Programme Implementation and Statistics has been tasked with the job of providing disaggregated data to show how each of the five national minorities were benefiting from government programmes.
"A special unit to monitor the implementation of the Sachar panel recommendations for welfare of minorities has been set up," said a senior ministry official. "It will provide data to each ministry on the ground situation of its schemes for minorities".
Not willing to take any chances, the PMO has also asked the Planning Commission to have a dedicated plan for welfare of minorities in the 12th five-year plan (2012-17). A senior plan panel functionary said that there would be a separate section detailing the new initiatives being taken and benefits of the past ones for the minorities.
The panel functionary also said that the PM will take a meeting on minority affairs once different ministries come out with concrete plans on how to improve implementation of the existing schemes and plan new initiatives for the 12th plan.