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Ahead of 2019, Cabinet Clears Post-Matric Scholarship Arrears of Over Rs 6,000 Crore in One Go

News18 had reported in February that the ministry had brought up crores of arrears on part of the central government with regard to post-matric scholarships with the Ministry of Finance.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:April 26, 2018, 9:32 AM IST
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Ahead of 2019, Cabinet Clears Post-Matric Scholarship Arrears of Over Rs 6,000 Crore in One Go
File photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: Post-matric scholarship arrears, which were brought to the notice of the Finance Ministry by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, have been cleared in one go in the latest cabinet meeting.

News18 had reported in February that the ministry had brought up crores of arrears on part of the central government with regard to post-matric scholarships with the Ministry of Finance. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had taken note of the arrears, which had accumulated over the years, and deliberations are on to clear all of them all in one go.

Sources told News18 that the arrears have now all been cleared as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was keen on clearing it before the end of the year. “The arrears are Rs 6824.51 crores and our post matric budget is Rs 3,000 crores. The FM seemed to be keen to clear it all together, and everything has been cleared now,” sources said.

The maximum arrears are from Tamil Nadu (Rs 1547.56 crore) followed by Uttar Pradesh at Rs 1490 crore, Maharashtra (Rs 1433 crore) and Punjab (Rs 835 crore). The Post-Matric Scholarships, introduced through Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s initiative as a Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council in 1943 and extended to STs after Independence, is an open-ended scheme.

The proportion of SCs and STs in the relevant age-group in higher education is less than the proportion of the population in the relevant age-group of the Socially Advance Castes (SACs), which includes the non-SC, non-ST, non-SEdBC castes (NSCTBCS) in higher education.

Out of the total budgetary outlay for 2018-19, the outlay for Central Sector Schemes and Centrally Sponsored Schemes is Rs 10,14,450.79 crore. Out of this, the outlay for SCP/allocations for welfare of SCs, which has to be at least 16.6% of the budget, ought to be not less than Rs 1,68,398.83 crore. But only Rs 56618.50 crore (5.58% instead of 16.6%) has been provided.

Similarly, the outlay for Tribal sub Plan/allocations for the welfare of STs, which has to be at least 8.6% of the total budget, ought to be not less than Rs 87247.77 crores, but only Rs 39134.73 crores (3.86% instead of 8.6%) has been provided for the same.

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