Deputy CM asks principals to send schorlarship cases, cross check
The Punjab Government has revamped the ‘shagun’ scheme and has decided in-principle that ‘shagun’ to SC and BC girls will be provided 15 days before their marriages from January next.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal issued directions to this effect at a meeting with senior officers of Finance, Social Security and Social Welfare departments, here on Wednesday.
He asked the Secretary, Social Welfare, Seema Jain to simplify the procedure with self-attestation of documents to avail benefits in a hassle-free manner under ‘shagun’ scheme. To check duplicity of beneficiaries, Sukhbir advised the department to cross check beneficiaries randomly and if any illegality was established than recipient would be liable to pay the double penalty and face punitive action.
Reviewing the ongoing welfare schemes for students belonging to the SC, BC and minorities in the state, Deputy Chief Minister asked the officers to organise a meeting with the Education department officers and issue instructions to all the heads of educational institutes to make sure that all scholarship cases must be sent within time to provide financial help under post-matric and pre-matric scholarship schemes. Besides, he also directed the department to popularise the scholarship schemes through an advertisement campaign within next 15 days.
Jain informed Deputy CM that a sum of Rs 394 crore had already been released to 5,92,523 SC and BC students from the year 2009 to 2014 under post-matric scholarship scheme and all scholarships to the beneficiaries were disbursed up to 2014. Under pre-matric scholarship scheme, a sum of Rs 42.68 crore was also distributed to 1,89,705 SC students in 2014-15. Besides, the department has received a sum of Rs 376 crore under this scheme for 2014-15.
It may be mentioned here that to get registration for scholarships, the Punjab Government’s official web portal was being used by the beneficiaries, whose number has increased to 3.05 lakh.
Deputy Chief Minister asked the department to remove the upfront payment for BC students to avail the benefit under this scheme.
Taking a serious note of non-deposit of utilisation certificates (UCs) by the departments in some cases, Sukhbir asked the officers concerned to ensure UCs to be deposited in next week.
Deputy Chief Minister said the Punjab Government would raise the issue with Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to include Punjab under the “Pardhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna (PMAGY), under which 1,000 villages would be developed having 50 per cent or more SC population.
He said that Punjab has the highest SC population of 31.94 per cent in the country and Punjab must be included in this scheme along with Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. It may be mentioned here that 2,800 villages (23.01 per cent) in the state have more than 50 per cent SC population.