he Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Minister, Punjab, Mr. Sadhu Singh Dharamsot today said that the post matric scholarship amount of Rs. 1663.47 crore which is being given to the students belonging to scheduled castes category, is pending with the Union Government and the State Government is in regular contact with the Union Government to ensure its speedy release.
Disclosing this here today in the aftermath of the meeting with the senior officers of the department in connection with the post matric scholarships, Mr. Dharamsot said that the post matric scholarship being given to the SC category students is 100 percent centrally sponsored scheme and the amount of Rs. 1663.47 related to the year 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 is pending with the Union Government.
He also said that for the year 2016-17 the amount is Rs. 719.52 crore, For 2017-18 it is Rs. 567.55 crore while for 2018-19 it stands at Rs. 376.40 crore. Divulging more, the minister said that out of Rs. 327.39 crore released by the Union Government in 2015-16, Rs. 314.63 crore has been released by the department and utilization certificates sent to the Union Government whereas the bills to the tune of Rs. 12.76 crore balance amount have been submitted at the treasury office for payment purposes.
The minister also added that the present government decided to conduct audit of the scholarship amount released during the tenure of the previous regime in order to expose the failures of the latter. Till now, Rs. 512 crore amount has been found to be of dubious nature in the audit of the private educational institutions regarding post matric scholarship.
He also said that there are a total of 3606 educational institutions in the state out of which reports with regard to special audit of 2588 institutions have been received. Of these 2588 institutions, 1967 are private while 621 are government. The minister also elaborated that payments as of now cannot be made to 920 out of these 2588 institutions because audit party objections have been raised concerning the payment of claims made by these. As regarding the rest of the 990 private educational institutions, payment of Rs. 100.34 crore worth post matric scholarship has been made.
Mr. Dharamsot made it clear that the directions pertaining to the fees payment regarding the post matric scholarship are issued by the Union Government and the state government & different educational institutions have to function in accordance with these. Divulging more, he said that as per the directions of the Union Government the scholarship amount would now be transferred into the accounts of the students and not the institutions. He further said that as per the issued directions the students of only those institutions would be eligible for scholarship whose 50 percent SC students would score passing grade.
On the occasion, Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Roshan Sunkaria, Director SC sub plan Mr. Raj Bahadur Singh, Additional Director Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Mrs. Bindu Walia and Deputy Director Mr. Jaswinder Singh Gill were also present.>