Punjab minister urges Centre to release scholarship funds

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Punjab minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot today urged the Centre to take immediate measures to release the state’s share of Rs 1,046.48 crore in connection with the post-matric scholarship scheme of Scheduled Caste students.

He was speaking at a regional conference of Social Welfare ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh here.

The event was organised under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.

The meeting was presided over by Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Dharmsot is Punjab’s Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minority Welfare minister.

“Under the scheme, the Union government owes Punjab government an amount of Rs 1,046.48 crore for the fiscal 2015 -16 and 2016-17,” he said, a Punjab government release quoting him said here.

He added that due to alleged non-release of funds for 2017-18 the admission process of students was being affected and urged for immediate release of the amount considering the future of three lakh students.

Dharamsot also said that an amount of Rs 18.43 crore for 2016-17, under pre-matric scholarship scheme for SC students, under which students of class IX and X get scholarships, was pending with the Union government.

He said proposals of Rs 76.33 crore under Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojna have been sent by the Punjab government to the Centre for year 2016-17, which need instant approval for the welfare of the SC category students.

Under Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna implemented in 2014-15 only 112 villages of Punjab have been included whereas there are 2,800 such villages which have SC population of more than 50 per cent, he said.