Waqf land to be developed: Government

Srinagar, Oct 12 (IANS) Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah on Monday said the government was planning to develop Waqf land across the country.

Addressing a high-level meeting here to discuss the implementation of minority welfare schemes of the ministry in the states and union territories of northern India.

“The government is working out the modalities of a private partnership model for the same,” said Heptullah. The minister also gave an assurance that encroached Waqf lands will be recovered at the earliest.

Waqf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious, pious or charitable purposes as recognised by Muslim Law, given by philanthropists.

She also said that traditional arts and crafts of Kashmir were suffering as the younger generation is not keen to adopt them as a profession.

“The ministry will work along with the stakeholders towards removing such hurdles so that artisans can reach out and sell their products to consumers across the country and the globe,” she added.

Representatives from seven states and union territories attended the meeting held at the Sher-I-Kashmir International Convention Centre here. They were from Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Talking about the welfare schemes launched in various parts of the country, Heptullah said her ministry has started imparting region-specific skill training to members of the minority communities so that their prospects of earning a decent livelihood are increased.

The USTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme is one such example, she added.

“The ministry has started skill development and training programmes for the students of Madrassas in addition to religious education,” the minister said, adding that “it will help the students to cope better with the challenging requirements of the present day job markets”.

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