Corporation soon to develop wakf properties: Minister

Bangalore, Dec 21: A National Wakf Development Corporation would soon be set up to fund development of wakf properties across the country, union Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan said Saturday.

“The corporation will be set up with a corpus of Rs.500 crore to develop wakf properties located across the country to prevent their encroachment,” Khan said at the southern regional conference of NGOs, held at Sathanur near Bagalur on the city’s outskirts.

A building or a plot of land donated for religious or charitable purposes of minorities is considered a wakf property and is held by a recognised charitable trust under the Wakf Act.

Lamenting that about 50 percent of wakf properties were encroached, Khan said the ministry would bring a law to evict the unauthorised occupants of such properties by amending the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.

“We will make encroachment of wakf properties a cognizable non-bailable offence with a punishment up to two years imprisonment,” he said addressing representatives of the NGOs at the day-long conference on awareness of the schemes and programmes of his ministry.

The ministry is in the process of computerising all wakf records.

“Around 264,000 records of wakf properties have been digitized till date,” Khan said.

The ministry is also planning an Rs.100-crore health scheme under Maulana Azad Foundation to treat patients from the minority community.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Minority Welfare, Haj and Wakf Minister Qamarul Islam participated in the conference.