Senior Congress leader and party MLA from Abohar, Sunil Jakhar, on Monday accused the SAD-BJP government of failing to get grants under the Post-Matric Scholarship scheme for Scheduled Caste students from the Centre and claimed that the scholarship meant exclusively for SC students worth Rs 772 crore is still unpaid for the session 2014-15.
Addressing a press conference here, the former leader of opposition in Punjab assembly said the delay had happened because the Punjab government had submitted wrong utilisation certificates with the Union social justice and empowerment minister and the ministry in return had refused to make further payments.
The Congress leader, who showed the letters written by the director of Union social justice and empowerment department to secretary, department of welfare, Punjab, dated July last year, said in these letters the utilisation certificates submitted by Punjab were found incorrect by the Union ministry.
“Look at the lies by the Punjab government. In assembly, cabinet minister for the department of SCs and OBCs a few days before these letter had replied to my query that all funds for 2014-15 were cleared. But the department’s own letters show that Rs 245.08 crore for the session was yet to be paid. For 2015-16, Rs 527 crore was yet to be paid even as that educational session has already expired,” said Jakhar.
“Since state BJP chief Vijay Sampla happens to be the Union minister for social justice and empowerment, I dare him to come clean on the issue and explain why the grant was not issued to the state so far. It would be interesting to see if Sampla, who has become the state BJP chief as a Dalit face, rakes up the issue of discrimination against Dalit kids with the state government,” said the Congress leader.
Jakhar said it seems the state had diverted the funds allotted for the scholarship and Sampla should reveal the truth behind it, so that poor students did not suffer.