Minority affairs ministry 'yet to implement' 3 scholarship schemes, spends only 27% of 2022-23 budget

Pre-Matric, Post-Matric, MCM Scholarships: 2 weeks left of the financial year but Centre yet to implement schemes for minorities.

Scholarships for minority students yet to be implemented (Image Source: Pexels)Scholarships for minority students yet to be implemented (Image Source: Pexels)

Sheena Sachdeva | March 24, 2023 | 08:31 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Even by March 17, 2023, with just two weeks to the end of the financial year, the ministry of minority affairs was "yet to implement" three scholarship schemes for children from minority communities for 2022-23, the minister, Smriti Irani, told Lok Sabha on Thursday. The three schemes are the pre-matric scholarship, post-matric scholarship and merit-cum-means scholarship.

This is reflected in the funds utilisation of the ministry as well. The minority affairs ministry spent only 27% of its budget for the current financial year till March 17, the ministry told the Lok Sabha in a separate reply on Thursday.

Also Read | Education Budget 2023 Analysis: 41% cut in pre-matric scholarships for OBC, EBC, DNT

The scholarships for minority communities also saw a massive cut in this year’s Union Budget 2023.

Member of parliament from Ponnani, Kerala, ET Mohammed Basheer, had asked the question regarding utilisation of funds of minority affairs ministry. MP Vanga Geetha Viswanath from Kakinada constituency affiliated to Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party asked for the details on targets and achievements made under pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means based scholarship schemes during the last three years and the current year.

Scholarship funds utilisation

Until March 17, the ministry had spent only Rs 712.54 crore of its revised expenditure on scholarships schemes for minorities in 2021-22. This was less than half of its actual expenditure in 2021-22 and also 2020-21. In 2020-21, the ministry had spent Rs 3998.56 crore and Rs 4325.24 crore the next financial year.

The overall budget for the minority ministry was almost halved, from Rs 5,020.50 crore to Rs 2,612.66 crore, in the revised estimates for the 2022-33 financial year.

Also Read | Union Budget 2023 Analysis: Drop in allocation for children, massive cuts in scholarships

The ministry didn’t give any reasons for delay in disbursal of the scholarships.

In Union Budget 2022-23, the ministry had earmarked Rs 1,425 crore for pre-matric, Rs 515 crore for post-matric and Rs 365 crore for merit-cum-means scholarships schemes.

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