RTE funding: UP mobilizes other states to take on centre | india | Hindustan Times
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RTE funding: UP mobilizes other states to take on centre

india Updated: Apr 06, 2010 20:38 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
Hindustan Times
National Rural Guarantee Scheme

After spat over irregularities in the implementation of National Rural Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) the BSP government has locked horns with Congress-led UPA government over funding of Right to Education (RTE).

Not to be isolated on the issue the state government has been trying to rope in other non-Congress states to pressure the centre to change its financial assistance formula of 55 per cent to the states. The UP government rejecting to share 45 per cent burden has demanded 100 per cent funds from the centre.

Senior IAS officers in Chief Minister's office have already contacted their counterparts in Bihar, Punjab, and Karnataka to take up the issue with the centre. Moves are afoot to mobilize support from other states also. Thus the state government has been making it an all India issue to get positive results from the centre, which in the past had not paid any response to UP's special package for Rs 80,000 crore.

The issue is likely to snowball into political controversy as the Opposition both Congress and Samajwadi Party have brought the BSP's memorial and parks into focus over state government's "fund-paucity-claim". The SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhury said the state government had money for memorials but not for implementation of RTE.

However the SP general secretary Mohan Singh has supported the demand for 100 percent funds from the centre.

"The Right to Education (RTE) is necessary for the educational development in the country but the centre and not the states should provide full funds", Mohan Singh said.

Of the total Rs 18000 crore annual expenditure, UP would have to earmark Rs 8000 crore for this purpose.

"The implementation of RTE would require vast infrastructure," said CM's Principal Secretary Shailesh Krishna.

Chief Minister Mayawati and her Karnataka, MP counterparts BS Yeddyurappa and Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan respectively had already approached the centre with "full-funding-request". They have told the centre that the state's share should be restricted to ten percent.

"It is central scheme so the full funding should also come from the center", says Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh. While the scheme has become operational from April 1, 2010, there is so far no response from the centre over changing the funding formula. "We have put our views to the centre, let us wait", Shekhar Singh said.