Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh. (Express Photo)
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh will take up the issue of delay in payment of post-matric scholarships to Scheduled Caste students with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said a statement issued by the state government.
It further said that he was reviewing the progress of the centrally-sponsored Post Matric Scholarship Scheme and that he would request the PM to intervene for the immediate release of Rs 780 crore for the year 2017-18 without further delay.
He also directed the principal secretary, social justice, empowerment and minorities, to prepare a comprehensive case to be submitted to the Government of India in this regard at the earliest and to work out the modalities for the immediate release of requisite funds under the scheme.
Referring to the pending central funds of Rs 309 crore under the scheme for 2016-17, Amarinder asked the finance department to immediately release the state’s pending share of Rs 57 crore so that necessary utilisation certificate could be submitted to the Centre for enabling early release of their outstanding share of Rs 309 crore for the said period. He directed that the certificate be submitted by January 31.
The chief minister asked the principal secretary to ensure disbursement of the Rs 57 crore to eligible students within a week.
Further, once the certificate is submitted, the social justice, empowerment and minorities department should pursue the matter with the Centre to secure an early release of the Rs 309 crore amount, he instructed.
The issue of the revised guidelines for the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes also came up for discussion and it was pointed out that the chief minister had written to the Centre on June 17, 2018, seeking review of the new guidelines, which would only serve to put the SC students in a highly disadvantaged position, besides imposing an unmanageable financial burden on the state government.