Heptullah , Union Minority Affairs Minister on Sunday said her ministry has drafted a bill to protect Waqf Board properties and it would soon be put before the Union Cabinet.
“The bill has been readied,” Najma Heptullah told ETRealty reporters here.
Asked about large-scale encroachment on Waqf properties in Bhopal, she said, “If the community members start protests under a public movement, I am ready to join them to free the Waqf properties from encroachments.”
She said these lands can be freed through a ‘Gandhian’ movement.
The Waqf Board has huge properties across India, spread over six lakh acres in all, the Union Minister Heptullah said.
Citing the Sacchar Committee report on welfare of minorities, she said if the Waqf properties were put to use, they can fetch Rs 12,000 crore annually.
The Narendra Modi government has increased budgetary allocation for minority welfare, she said, adding scholarships for students from the minority communities had been increased by 25 per cent.
Earlier, Heptullah inaugurated a gathering of women writers here. She also attended a programme under ‘Gram Uday se Bharat Uday’ campaign at Fanda village in the district, which she has adopted as an MP.