The Ministry of Religious Affairs should allocate at least Tk 17 crore in the budget for religious minorities instead of the proposed Tk 4.61 crore, said leaders of religious minority communities yesterday.
In the proposed budget, Tk 3 per person is allocated for the religious minorities, while about Tk 11 is allocated for each Muslim, they added.
Since the ministry is playing no role for the development of the Hindu, Buddha and Christian communities, a separate ministry should be formed to protect the interest of religious minorities, they demanded.
The demands were made at a press conference organised by the Bangladesh Hindu Buddha Christian Oikyo Parishad and the Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad in the capital's Dhaka Reporters' Unity.
"Studying the ministry budget, we have seen that it proposes TK 44.03 crore for hajj, but offers nothing for Hindu, Buddha and Christian communities' pilgrimage," said Rana Dasgupta.
The discriminatory budget is a reflection of the country's constitution, which is not yet free of communal elements, he added.
Reading out a statement, Kajol Debnath said although the religious minorities pay as much tax and vat as their Muslim counterparts, there is no project for their development in the budget plan.