In an embarrassment for the School Education Department, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has declined to approve Rs 600 crore funds under various components of centrally sponsored scheme Samagra Shiksha.
The approval was declined owing to the failure of the department to “utilize” Rs 600 crore funds released in October last year.
An official who is privy to the development said the department was supposed to get ad hoc grants worth Rs 618 crore out of which MHRD approved only Rs 18 crore for the current financial year.
“An amount of Rs 600 crore was released by MHRD as second installment of funds approved in the PAB meeting 2018 under Samagra Shiksha. The funds were released to State Finance Department, which didn’t release it to the Education Department for its utilisation under various components of the scheme,” an official in civil secretariat told Greater Kashmir.
The project approval board meeting for 2019- 20 was convened by Secretary Education and Literacy-MHRD in New Delhi on June 12 to review and approve the annual plan for the J&K’s Education Department.
“But the officials were censured for keeping previous funds unutilized,” the official said. The official said the Education Department failed to submit the utilisation certificate (UC) of Rs 600 crore released in October last year.
“It was presumed by MHRD that the funds are unspent. But the funds were not released by state government to our department after receiving from the MHRD,” the official said.
The MHRD has taken serious note of the delay by J&K government in releasing the funds to the education department after receiving the money from MHRD.
Earlier, while chairing PAB for MDM, the MHRD had asked the state government to ensure that funds are released to education department within 15 days after receiving from central government.
Meanwhile, as per the minutes of the PAB meeting, MHRD has set up several conditions for the release of funds for the current financial year.
MHRD has stated that state should release or transfer the central share to state implementing
society (Samagra) within l5 days of its receipt in the state treasury.
“The state share should be released to the state implementing society within one month of the release of the central share,” read the minutes of the meeting.
As per the minutes of the meeting, all releases by the centre would be subject to fulfillment of provisions of GFR by the State.
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