Education Budget 2023: Just 51% SSA funds released till December 2022

Budget 2023: Accountability Initiative’s analysis shows that releases have been slow. SSA accounted for 36% of funds for education ministry in 2022-23.

In the union budget 2022, the central government allocated Rs 37,383 crore to Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)In the union budget 2022, the central government allocated Rs 37,383 crore to Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

Sanjay | January 31, 2023 | 04:28 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The union government released just half the budget allocated to Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) by December, 2022, an analysis by the think-tank, Centre for Policy Research’s Accountability Initiative shows.

The SSA is critical for school education. It is the largest scheme aimed at universalising primary and secondary education.

By November 30, 2022, the union government had released Rs 19,065.33 crore of the Rs Rs 37,383 crore it had allocated to SSA – just 51%. Also, by October, states had spent 22% of the total approved budget for the scheme, said the analysis. The SSA is funded jointly by the union government and the states in a 60:40 ratio or 90:10 for hilly and northeastern states.

School education budget

The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan is the largest centrally-sponsored scheme implemented by the ministry of education and accounts for 36% of the total Rs 1,04,277 allocation to the ministry of education in 2022-23.

Although the pace of funds released to states have been “slightly better” and “marginally improved” compared to the 2021-22 financial year, the release of funds has been “slow”, said Accountability Initiative in its Budget Briefs analysis.

The budget estimates (BE), revised estimates (RE) and actual expenditures of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan are given below.

Union Education Budget: 2020 onwards

Scheme

2020-21 Actuals (in Rs crore)

2021-22 BE (in Rs crore)

2021-22 RE (in Rs crore)

2022-23 BE (in Rs crore)

% change RE (2021-22) to BE (2022-23)

Samagra Shiksha

27,835

31,050

30,000

37,383

25

Total DoSEL budget

51,842

54,874

51,970

63,449

22


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Education Budget: Outlay for SSA

Launched in April 2018, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12. It subsumed the three older schemes – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE). It supports the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, and helps attain goals set for school education in the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020.

In August 2021, the union cabinet approved the continuation of Samagra Shiksha scheme for five more years, till FY 2025- 26. The total financial outlay of the scheme was set as Rs 2,94,283 crore, of which GoI’s share is Rs 1,85,398 crore.

In the union budget 2022, the central government allocated Rs 37,383 crore to SSA. This was an increase of more than Rs 6,000 crore from budget 2021 but less than 2019, when Rs 38,750.50 crore was allocated. This was 25% higher than the revised estimates for FY 2021-22. This also accounted for 59% of the total allocation made for the department of school education and literacy (DoSEL).

An additional Rs 447 crore was sought through the supplementary budget in December 2022, bringing the revised allocations for the scheme in FY 2022-23 to Rs 37,831 crore. The trend indicates that after a steep decline in FY 2020-21, the allocations for Samagra Shiksha have increased again.

“Allocations, however, remain lower than those projected by MoE. In FY 2019-20, they were 12% less than the demand. The gap between projections made by MoE and REs increased further to 39% and 48% in FY 2020-21 and FY 2021-22, respectively,” said Accountability Initiative’s budget brief.

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In FY 2022-23, while MoE’s projections for Samagra Shiksha (Rs 38,825 crore) were 33% lower compared to Rs 57,914 crore projected in the previous year, allocations remained 3% less than the projections.

Financial Year

Projected SSA budget (in Rs crore)

Allocation for SSA (in Rs crore)

Share of SSA out of MoE allocation (%)

2018-19

34,000

30,781

37

2019-20

41,000

36,274

38

2020-21

45,934

27,957

33

2021-22

57,914

30,000

34

2022-23

38,825

37,383

36


School Education Budget: Funds release, utitilisation

The Accountability Initiative also found that the union government routinely releases less funds than allocated to the states for the Samagra Shiksha scheme. Between 2018 and 2022, the central government released Rs 1,25,013 crore to the states, which was 9% less than the revised estimate.

Till November 30, 2022, Tamil Nadu received the highest – 72% – of the funds it was allocated for SSA, closely followed by Odisha and Jharkhand with 67% each. Maharashtra had not received any funds from the union government at all.

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The researchers found that the funds utilised under Samagra Shiksha scheme have been low.

“Between FY 2018-19 and FY 2021-22, less than two-thirds of the approved budgets had been spent by all states. Pace of utilisation of budget in FY 2022-23 has been slow, a situation similar to the previous years. Till October 2022 (latest data available), only 22% of the total approved budget was spent,” it said.

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