The Uttar Pradesh government may soon merge the Sunni and Shia Waqf boards to form a “UP Muslim Waqf Board”, Minister of State for Waqf Mohsin Raza has said, according to PTI.

Raza said the step was being taken to prevent wastage of money. “Separate chairperson, CEO and other staff incur heavy expenses...It is a wastage of money,” Raza was quoted as saying. He added that both the boards were charged with corruption.

The proposed merged board will have members from both the Sunni and Shia communities, and the chairperson would also be selected from among them, Raza said. He added that except Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, all states have only one Waqf board, so it was not legal to have two boards.

“The government has got a number of letter and suggestions from various quarters regarding the merger of Sunni and Shia Waqf boards,” Raza said. The government has sought a proposal in this regard from the department concerned. “After the law department’s review of the proposal, the government will consider it and form the UP Muslim Waqf board.”

Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Chairperson Waseem Rizvi said there was no provision to dissolve the boards, which were constituted in 2015 for a five-year tenure. But Rizvi’s counterpart in the Sunni Waqf Board, Zufar Farooqui, welcomed the initiative.