Chandigarh, Jun 5 (PTI) The Punjab government misappropriated funds meant for the Scheduled Caste (SC) post matric scholarship scheme and failed to release Rs 1,549 crore to private educational institutions which has endangered the future of two lakh SC students, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alleged on Saturday.
In a statement here, former minister and SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema said while the Punjab government has stopped funding the scheme, other states including Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have provided budgetary support to it from state funds.
“Now the very future of SC students has been threatened with the Joint Association of Colleges stating it will withhold the roll numbers of SC students in protest against the non-disbursal of the scholarship to the institutions,” Cheema said.
It is shocking that the Congress government has failed to pay the private institutions for the last three financial years due to which there is a huge backlog, he added.
Terming the development as 'extremely unfortunate', Cheema claimed, “The state government has failed to release even one rupee from the Rs 2,440 crore budgetary provisions made for the SC scholarship scheme for the last three years. This is not all as there has been large-scale bungling in the SC scholarship disbursal.” Asking Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to take notice of the plight of SC students, Cheema said there were four lakh Dalit students in the state during the SAD tenure but the number has reduced drastically under the Congress rule.
“The SAD demands that the money due to private institutions be released immediately. It is also important that SC students are not humiliated in any manner like their roll numbers not being released and preventing them from sitting in examinations,” he said. PTI VSD RHL