Kerala releases Rs 210 crore for mid-day meal, insists centre hasn’t released share

PM Poshan: Kerala education department alleged that the mid-day meal scheme funds the centre claims to have released were for FY 2021-22.

Kerala education department alleged that the funds shared by education ministry were due from 2021-22 (Image Credit: Atul Krishna)Kerala education department alleged that the funds shared by education ministry were due from 2021-22 (Image Credit: Atul Krishna)

Atul Krishna | September 14, 2023 | 05:44 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Government of Kerala has released Rs 210 crore to be disbursed among schools to address the mid-day meal crisis in the state. These funds are meant to cover the mid-day meal expenses incurred by schools for the months of June and July, and the first instalment for August.

The Kerala General Education Department also said that the state-share of honorarium for mid-day meal cooks has been released for the months of June, July and August.

Many schools in Kerala are in debt since the past few months as they have not received any funds for the erstwhile mid-day meal scheme, now called PM Poshan. The Kerala education minister V Sivankutty, on September 7, had blamed the centre for not releasing its share of funds.

However, the education ministry, on September 8, had retorted that Kerala had not complied with the rules for PM Poshan. The ministry said that the state was yet to transfer the central share of funds to the Single Nodal Account (SNA) of the department and was hence “ineligible” for more funds. The union education ministry also said that it had transferred Rs 132.90 crore to the Kerala Government to fulfil its committed liabilities.

The Rs 210 crore for the mid-day meal scheme, that was released on Wednesday, was transferred to the SNA.

Kerala: Mid-day meal funds

The Kerala General Education Department, in a statement released on Thursday, also said that the Rs 132.90 that the centre claims to have released is actually part of the central share of mid-day meal instalment for the year 2021-22. The state alleged that this instalment was transferred one day before the financial year of 2021-22 ended.

The Rs 210 crore that the state released on Wednesday includes the Rs 132.90 crore from the centre. The state also said that it has transferred honorariums to mid-day meal cooks, excluding the Rs 1,000 that it is yet to receive from the central government.

Funding for PM Poshan – mid-day meal scheme – is shared between the union and state government in a 60:40 ratio with 60% coming from the centre. The central government releases its share in two instalments, 60% and 40% of its share of funds.

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