Central Goverment asks state to pay for SC/ST scholarships from its own pocket

Team SoOLEGAL 21 May 2018 10:19am

Central Goverment asks state to pay for SC/ST scholarships from its own pocket

While cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot maintains that the state government has taken up the issue of stalled post matric scholarship for the SC students with the Union government and funds would soon be released, a thorough scrutiny of the latest policy announced by the Centre in April clearly shows that the committed liability for the scholarships now rests with the state government. The centre has asked the state to make its budgetary provision for the same.

The scholarships of Rs 550 crore will now have to be paid by the state government which is already facing financial problems.

As per the amended policy, the funding pattern of the scheme has also been changed. Earlier, the state and union territories were receiving 100% central assistance for the total expenditure under the scheme. However, under the New Finance Commission cycle, it has been decided that the committed liability will be borne by states for which they will be required to make provision in their own budgets.

Blaming the state for delaying the grant for the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for the SC students, the joint action committee representing 14 associations of more than 1,000 unaided colleges of Punjab has decided that the SC students may not be given admission for the academic session 2018-19 in case the government fails to release funds by May end.

JAC chairman Ashwani Sekhri said the decision was taken keeping in mind the implementation of revised Post Matric Scholarship Scheme (PMSS) for the SC students from April 2018 onwards under which the state government has to pay around Rs 550 crores.

Freshly, Punjab minister for scheduled castes, backward classes and minority welfare Sadhu Singh Dharamsot had met Union minister for social justice and empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot to demand a release of Rs 1,048 crore for the release of payments for the post-matric scholarships for the SC students. However, according to information, the matter continues to linger on and there has no written confirmation sent by the Union government in this regard.

JAC spokesperson Dr. Anshu Kataria said around Rs 1,600 crores is owed to the unaided colleges and under the revised policy, the state has to pay the said amount for the scheme for the year 2017-18. The colleges were of a consensus to not admit the SC students to protect these institutions against the exploitation if fees are not paid till May end, he said.

He said it was also decided that the colleges may debar the existing students from attending classes in next session until and unless the pending amount is disbursed by the state government and these decisions would be implemented across the state.

Sekhri said the unaided institutes were concerned about the future of the SC students but were helpless in the current situation. He said the government has disbursed around Rs 113.50 crores of the central grant after 10 months to the government colleges and merely Rs 1.25 crore to the unaided colleges. Non-submission of user certificate to the Union government further delayed the disbursement of Rs 1,000 crores from the Centre.

However, Dharamsot claimed that the state government issued the user certificate in regard to the amount released by the Union government and placed all the records before the Union minister for when he met him at Delhi on April 27 along with his principal secretary. But, the funds are yet to be released by the Centre, he said.

The state had recently carried out a comprehensive audit of the post-matric scholarship scheme for students belonging to the SCs and OBCs which involved 2,183 private institutions with 5,44,872 students and 2,126 government institutions with 5,82,139 students.

For now, the JAC said they would soon be meeting finance minister Manpreet Badal and apprise him of the current situation under which the unaided colleges will be unable to admit the SC students.

Source: Times of India

Tagged: Central Goverment   scholarships   SC   ST   SC Students  
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