The Government of Andhra Pradesh has released an honorarium for Imams across the state. This was announced by Waqf Board CEO Aleem Basha on Tuesday, 10 November. In his interaction with the press, CEO Basha said that about Rs. 23 crore had been deposited in the accounts of the respective waqf institutions for the honorarium payouts.
Aleem Basha said that the government had released funds at the rate of Rs. 3,000 for Imams and Rs. 5000 for Muezzins. From April to September this year, funds were released to 10,000 beneficiaries in the state. However, even last year, the YSR Congress party government spent Rs. 49.6 crore, he mentioned. It is learnt that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has stated in his election manifesto that Imams and Muezzins will be paid honorarium every month. The scheme was implemented in the first year after coming to power. Recently, the Jagan government released the funds for this year.
The timing of this announcement is being read as suspicious by some critics who have stated that the announcement is to divert attention from the recent incident of a Muslim family committing suicide due to police high-handedness. In contrast with this, the religious Muslim clerics who are the beneficiaries of this scheme have appreciated the assistance.