The Central government has failed to reimburse the post-metric scholarships to Scheduled Caste (SC) category students in the current fiscal year. The reason was that the Union Ministry of Social Justice has been facing a liquidity crunch and has sought additional funds. As per the ministry, the planned budget is Rs. 6,500 crore out of which Rs. 4,667 was released by the end of September. So far, 71.8 percent of the planned budget has been accomplished.
On the other hand, there is an arrear demand of Rs. 8,000 crore under the post-metric scholarship. It has been estimated that Rs. 5,400 crore is essential to clear the arrears up to 2015-16 and one-third of current year’s demand is required urgently.
According to sources, it is the responsibility of state government to pay the amount to SC students falling under post-metric scholarship scheme. The amount will be later reimbursed by the Central government to the state government. However, the Centre has failed to clear the dues to the state government in the current financial year. At the same time, last year’s arrears are also yet to be cleared.
At this juncture, the issue of post-metric scholarships for SC students has been taken up by the Union Finance Ministry. For this purpose, an expenditure finance committee note has been forwarded to be taken up in the meeting. The main idea was to consider suggested improvements in the scheme as well as enhanced allocation to meet the arrear demands.