The Centre is unable to reimburse post-matric scholarships for scheduled caste (SC) category students so far in the current financial year, as the Union Social Justice Ministry is facing liquidity crunch and has sought additional funds. According to the ministry, out of its planned budget of Rs 6,500 crore, Rs 4,667 crore was released by September end. This is 71.8 per cent of its plan budget.
However, there is an arrear demand of Rs 8,000 crore under the Post-Matric Scholarship (SC), of which a minimum of Rs 5,400 crore which accounts for the entire arrears up to 2015-16 and one-third of current year’s demand is required urgently, the ministry said.
According to sources, states pay the amount to SC students under various Post-Matric Scholarship schemes, which is reimbursed by the Centre.
The Centre has been unable to reimburse the current year’s outstanding amount which is due to states. At the same time arrears from last years are also yet to be cleared, sources said.
The issue of post-matric scholarships for SC students has been taken up with the Union Finance Ministry. An expenditure finance committee note has been forwarded for taking up at the meeting to consider suggested improvements in the scheme, as well as enhanced allocation to meet the arrear demands, they said.
Post-matric scholarship scheme is the single largest intervention by the Centre for educational empowerment of SC students. Under this scheme, 100 per cent Central assistance is released to the states and Union Territories for expenditure incurred by them.
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