With Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, “babus” are all set to relinquish the comfort of their office rooms at Paryvaran Bhawan and take a tour of various districts and remote villages of the country, assessing whether or not the minorities were benefiting from the ministry’s programmes and schemes. This comes following a marathon one-and-a-half hour meeting that was chaired by the newly appointed Minister of Minority Affairs (independent charge) on Thursday at Paryavaran Bhawan.
In the meeting, which was attended by close to 22-25 senior officials of the ministry, Naqvi told the officials that they would have to go to the ground to see how the programmes are being executed and whether benefits from these programmes are reaching the intended beneficiaries. “He (Naqvi) has asked us to visit various districts and villages personally and prepare reports on the status and performance of these programmes from the ground. He was particularly upset with the fact that many officials were used to just sitting in their offices, coming up with new plans and launching them, but not following up its impact on the ground. He was clear that the officials should avoid coming to him with new schemes, but rather they should work to implement the existing ones,” an official, who was present in this meeting, said. This was Naqvi’s first official meeting after assuming charge as Minister of State for Minority Affairs. He has asked the officials to make presentation on the progress and status of the ministry’s schemes and programmes that they are heading. Earlier on Wednesday, Naqvi had done an informal interaction with the officials, asking them to freely share their views with him.
A secretary-level official who attended the meeting said the officials will focus on tackling the “false perception” that the BJP is anti-minority. “We have been asked to communicate to people the work done by the ministry for the overall welfare of the minorities. We have been asked to specially focus on the areas affecting a large number of minorities so that the notion that the present government is ‘anti-minority’ is dispelled,” he said. Officials said the change in guard at the ministry has resulted in a lot of pressure on officials as Naqvi is perceived to be more “active” than his predecessor Najma Heptulla. “Everyone has been on their toes since day one as he has made it clear that he wants time-bound results,” the official quoted above said.