The Centre aims to achieve 100 per cent digitisation of waqf properties across the country in its first 100 days, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Monday.
At the national conference of Central Waqf Council (CWC) in New Delhi, Naqvi awarded eight 'mutawalis' (custodian of waqf properties) under the "Qaumi Waqf Board Taraqqiati Scheme" for better management of waqf properties in their respective state waqf boards.
This is for the first time that 'mutawalis' have been encouraged and awarded for better utilisation of waqf properties especially for socio-economic-educational empowerment of needy, a statement said.
Addressing the conference, Naqvi said that 'mutawalis' are the custodians of waqf properties and it is their responsibility to ensure safety and better utilisation of such properties.
He said the central government has set a target to achieve 100 per cent digitisation of waqf properties across the country in its first 100 days.
There are more than 6 lakh registered waqf properties across the country.
Naqvi said a programme on war footing has been launched for 100 per cent geo-tagging and digitalisation of waqf properties across the country to ensure these lands can be utilised for welfare of the society.
The Central Waqf Council is providing financial help and technical assistance to state waqf boards for the digitalisation, GI mapping/geo tagging of waqf properties so that state waqf boards can complete work within the decided time frame.
GIS/GPS mapping of the waqf properties has been initiated with the help of IIT Roorkee and the Aligarh Muslim University.
The Central Waqf Council has provided video conferencing facilities to 20 state waqf boards and it would be provided in the remaining state waqf boards by the end of this year.
Ministry of Minority Affairs Secretary Shailesh, the Central Waqf Council secretary, chairmen or CEOs of state waqf boards among others attended the conference.
Naqvi said that for the first time since Independence, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is providing 100 per cent funding to develop schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, hospitals, multi-purpose community hall 'Sadbhav Mandap', 'Hunar Hub', common service centres, employment oriented skill development centres and other basic infrastructure on Waqf land under Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK).
The PMJVK is for the weaker sections and needy especially girls in the backward areas which had been deprived of basic facilities.
Naqvi said while only 90 districts of the country had been identified for Minority communities' development earlier, the Modi government has expanded development programmes for minorities in 308 districts, 870 blocks, 331 towns and thousands of the villages of the country.
He said that a report of a five-member committee headed by Justice (Retd) Zakiullah Khan, which was constituted to review waqf properties lease rule, has been submitted.
The recommendations of the committee will ensure that waqf rules are made easy and effective for better utilisation of waqf properties and to free these properties, several of these entangled in legal issues for several decades, from disputes, he said.
The central government, in consultation with states, is taking necessary action on the recommendations of the committee, Naqvi said.