June 25, 2024

Punjab

Vijay Sampla slams Harpal Cheema for presenting misleading facts on the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme

Kaumimarg Bureau | June 10, 2024 08:35 PM

Chandigarh- Former Union Minister and ex-Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), Vijay Sampla, criticized Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Monday for presenting misleading facts and figures regarding the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme. Sampla clarified that the BJP-led Union government has released hundreds of crores of rupees to Punjab for the scheme, but the state government has failed to utilize these funds for the betterment of Dalit students.

During a press conference on Monday, senior BJP leader Vijay Sampla stated, “Harpal Cheema claimed that the Centre had not released its 60% share of funds for Punjab students enrolled in the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme since 2017. This statement is baseless, misleading, and lacks verification of facts.”

Sampla said, “According to data from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Union government released Rs 229 crore for Dalit students in Punjab in the financial year 2020-21, in addition to Rs 140 crore that was lying unutilized by the Punjab government. The Punjab government had acknowledged that the central government’s funds of Rs 140 crore remained unutilized.”

In 2021-22, 1.92 lakh students were eligible for the scheme, and the central government released Rs 272.73 crore for them. For 2022-23, the Punjab government reported 1.98 lakh eligible students, and the central government released Rs 248.99 crore, added Sampla.

“For the year 2023-24, the Punjab government has yet to compile the entire data. However, based on the data compiled so far, the central government has already released Rs 172 crore for around 79, 000 students, ” Sampla clarified.

It is important to note that under the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, since 2020-2021 the Central Government contributes 60 percent of the funds, while the State Government contributes 40 percent.

He also questioned why, if 2.40 lakh students are currently enrolled in the scheme, the government is releasing funds for only 1.17 lakh students. “Why is the government depriving the other students of their rights?” Sampla asked.

Sampla concluded that, “Even though AAP is showing that their party is working for the betterment of Dalits in Punjab, it is a complete lie as it is only BJP government who is working for progress of Dalits. Despite several central schemes in place, Punjab government never makes any proposals and seeks new infrastructure for Punjab.”

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