MCD releases pending funds after audit report flags delay, school rues less amount disbursed

An MCD school said the civic body has released funds for only 45 students while the student strength is 191.

MCD releases funds for uniforms, notebooks, stationery, and school bags. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)MCD releases funds for uniforms, notebooks, stationery, and school bags. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Press Trust of India | February 22, 2024 | 11:05 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has released the pending funds for the purchase of school uniforms, stationery and bags for students after an audit report highlighted its failure to disburse the amount since 2016-17, documents reveal. However, the MCD schools have received less funds for nearly 2,73,122 of the total 7.88 lakh students enrolled in the civic body schools, the documents showed without highlighting any reason for the less disbursement.

The director of the education department of MCD, Vikas Tripathi told PTI that the remaining funds will be released when the bank accounts of students are opened. "Bank accounts are being opened with a special drive. Earlier, approval was taken by the corporation for 75 per cent students. Now, draft preamble has been put up for the payment of up to 90 per cent so that all students whose accounts are opened get the money in their account," he added. Tripathi also pointed out that the funds have been disbursed to the zonal heads of the education department who will be responsible for distributing the amount to schools.

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"The corporation has approved the proposal vide 28/12/23, 31/10/23, and 28/12/23 for allocation of cash subsidy of Rs 300, Rs 1,100, and Rs 120 respectively, per child enrolled in pre-primary to fifth classes in MCD schools for the purchase of stationery, uniform, and school bags for the current year 2023-24," the documents, which shows the amount has been released for just 5,14,878 students, read.

Reacting to the development, the Delhi Bhartiya Janta Party United criticised the AAP-led MCD government for releasing the funds for the academic year 2023-24 after the session had ended. "Out of the total number of students studying in municipal schools, only 5,14,878 students were given funds for school uniforms for the academic year 2023-24 that too in January 2024," the party said in a statement.

MCD funds

As per the documents, MCD released the pending funds of Rs 56,63,65,800 for uniform, Rs 15,44,63,400 for notebooks and stationary, and Rs 6,17,85,360 for purchasing school bags for these students across its 12 zones. The civic body has a total of 7.88 lakh students enrolled in its schools. The funds were released for the academic session 2023-24 between December last year and January, 2024.

An MCD school principal has written to the civic body regarding receiving funds for only 45 students while the school strength is 191. In the letter, the principal also raised concern that the received funds are falling short for even the 19 students of the total 64 who have their bank accounts opened. "We are unable to understand out of these 64 which 45 students are to be credited with the uniform fund amount," the letter, dated February 14 addressed to the education department of MCD, read. It further enquired if the funds for the remaining students including the 19 students who did not receive the amount despite having accounts, will be released after an ongoing drive in the school to open bank accounts of students.

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"It is to state that recently our school account got credited by Rs 4,95,00 for disbursing Rs 1100 per child for their uniform. As per this the amount sent by the department is for 45 students only. Our school strength is 191 at present (pre primary 41 + primary 150). Also students having accounts are 64 ( pre primary 3 + primary 61)," the letter read. An audit report had earlier highlighted that nearly 48.74 per cent of MCD school students were not provided this welfare scheme amount from 2016-17 to 2022-23 due to non opening of bank accounts. The civic body provides a cash subsidy of Rs 1,100 for school uniform, Rs 300 for notebooks and stationary and Rs 120 for school bags to students through direct bank transfer as per the corporation's guidelines.

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