Govt failed to spend Rs 115 crore meant for SC students: Sampla
Chandigarh – Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla on Saturday accused the Congress government in the state of failing to spend Rs 115 crore meant for Scheduled Caste students under a scholarship scheme. The Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment charged the Punjab government with spending the funds for post matric scholarship scheme on something else.“Eight months have passed since a sum of Rs 115 crore had been released to the Punjab government by the Centre for the post matric SC scholarship scheme. Our officials have been reminding the concerned officials in the state government to distribute money and send us the utilisation certificates so that the next installment can be sent, ‘ Sampla told reporters.“Not even a single penny has been distributed under this scheme by the Punjab government yet,” he said. Sampla said when his ministry asked the state officials what happened to the money, “they say verification is being done”. “As a result of it, the social discrimination of the Dalit student has been rising,” he claimed.Sampla said he himself called up the concerned officials about the spending of the grant. “It appears that they (state government) used Rs 115 crore in some other accounts. Sampla also alleged that the Congress government was “oppressing” its political opponents ahead of the Municipal Council polls. He claimed false cases have been filed against members of opposition parties at the behest of the ruling party members. The issue of post-matric scholarship has already been swinging like a pendulum between the Centre and state government.According to information, there are as many as 3.15 lakh students belonging to SC/BC, who has been receiving education in various streams. All expenditures on the education of these students are borne by the Union government. In the Centrally-sponsored scheme, the state’s contribution is just 10 percent to 15 per cent depending upon the course. But the Centre had stopped the release of Rs 1,100 crore fund to Punjab for not providing utility certificates of an amount of Rs 800 crore, used in the past under this scheme. Due to non-release of funds, private and unaided colleges have been facing a financial crisis as a few of them even refused to give admission to SC/BC students during the session, under post-matric scholarship scheme.A delegation of Punjab Unaided Colleges Association (PUCA) had met with Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and urged for the early release of postmatric scholarship, as the unaided colleges had failed to pay salaries of their staff due to financial hardship. It was alleged by the current state government that previous state government had not sent utility certificates to the Centre and that was the reason for the non-release of grants from Centre.
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