MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla said that he met CM Badal and cleared the row over the delay in scholarship
Jalandhar: A week after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal claimed that the Centre Government was not releasing funds for Post Matric SC Scholarship scheme, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla on Tuesday said that a ‘communication gap’ created by the Punjab government officials led to the confusion, which was clear now.
Sampla attributed the entire row over the scholarship scheme to the Punjab government officials and said that the centre government has released a total amount of Rs 196 crore to the Punjab government till date. “Out of this, Rs 90 crore was released in one installment while Rs 106 crore was released in the next phase during the last fiscal year 2015-16. Infact, CM Badal too has kept an amount of Rs 100 crore ‘reserved’ for the Post Matric SC Scholarship grant”, he said.
The MoS said that soon after the release of Rs 90 crore grant, an amount to the tune of Rs 60 crore was also surrendered by some educational institutions in the state, who had conducted ‘fake admissions’ under the scholarship grant. This process took some time, as a result of which there was little delay in the release of scholarship grant, he cleared.
“After CM Badal’s statements about the delay in the scholarship grant appeared in the media, I went to meet him to clear the issue. I also informed him that how a ‘communication gap’ created by the Punjab government officials created this confusion, which was finally cleared. The CM asked the officials to apprise him about the exact situation, after which the facts became clear”, he added.
However, when asked that if the ‘communication gap’ between CM Badal and the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Justice led by him was cleared, he dodged the query. Further, when repeatedly inquired by the media that if CM Badal spoke against the centre government without checking the facts, Sampla preferred to keep mum.
It is pertinent to mention here that in July 2015, Punjab government had written a letter to Centre government over the delay in release of the scholarship funds, after which the centre government officials asked them to provide the information about the fund utilization till date. “The Punjab government officials were again asked by the centre government officials to appear for a meeting on July 23 but they didn’t go. Later, the MoS Vijay Sampla wrote a letter on July 29, 2015 asking the officials to come for another meeting to corroborate the previous funds released but no Punjab government official reached there”, sources said.
Earlier, replying to a query that ex MP and senior congress leader Manish Tewari has recently termed the Punjab BJP as the ‘Minority Morcha’ of the SAD, Sampla said that they did not require any ‘certificate’ from the congress to prove their alliance. “We are heard in the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab”, he quipped.
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