Inflated claims paid to 414 pvt institutes for study tours: Audit

Inflated claims paid to 414 pvt institutes for study tours: Audit

Unaided colleges yet to be paid Rs 1,600 crore for scholarships

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20

The Department of Technical Education reimbursed inflated claims made by 414 private educational institutions as study tour expenses under the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, an audit has revealed.Covering 40,206 students, the institutions managed to get an excess reimbursement of Rs 23.17 crore, which is not admissible under the study rule charges. The maximum annual admissible rate for a student is Rs 1,600 but the claim made was much more. While seeking these claims, the head of an institution has to certify that the study tour is essential for students to complete the course of their study.An audit of the department by the Punjab’s Accountant General (Audit) has revealed that 422 institutions claimed study tour allowance of Rs 29.88 crore for 41,963 students during 2013-2014, 2015-2016 and 2017-2018. Without verifying the claims, the department reimbursed the institutions. Out of these, 414 institutes claimed excess charges of Rs 23.17 crore.Meanwhile, the audit has also detected at least 18 cases in the Technical Education Department in which the post-matric scholarship fee as well as the maintenance allowance has been paid twice under the scheme during the earlier-mentioned years. It has been found that different applications for the same set of students were filed for reimbursement of the financial assistance, resulting in an excess claim of Rs 9.23 lakh.A senior official of the Social Welfare Department said in the audit, the overall embezzlement in the post-matric scholarship scheme had touched nearly Rs 500 crore. It had been pointed out that certain colleges withdrew funds under the scheme in a “fraudulent” way by incorporating bogus students.Meanwhile, work in private institutions, unaided ones in particular, has been affected due to non-receipt of scholarship funds. The Joint Action Committee of unaided educational institutions has stated that the disbursal of Rs 1,600 crore was pending towards 1,000 unaided colleges.Pay dues or won’t admit SC students: Colleges 

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20

The Joint Action Committee of unaided educational institutions on Sunday sought the intervention of CM Capt Amarinder Singh in the disbursal of dues amounting to Rs 1,600 crore.The committee, at its meeting with 14 institution heads, took up the concern of 1,000 colleges for the implementation of the revised post-matric scholarship scheme for SC students with effect from April 2018.A former MLA and senior Congress leader, Ashwani Sekri, said concerns of the institutes with respect to the scheme were discussed at the meeting.A sum of Rs 1,600 crore under the PMS of unaided colleges is pending. As per the revised policy, the Punjab Government has to pay Rs 550 crore for 2017-18.The government disbursed Rs 113.50 crore of the central grant after 10 months to government colleges and merely Rs 1.25 crore to unaided colleges.The non-submission of utilisation certificate to the Union Government further delayed things.Peeved over the apathy, the participating colleges decided not to admit SC students without fee for 2018-19. “The colleges may also bar students from attending classes in the next session until the pending amount is disbursed by the state government,” said Dr Anshu Kataria, spokesperson for the the unaided colleges. More than 10 polytechnic colleges will not admit students for 2018-19 and have applied for NOC to close the colleges, it is learnt. 

[“Source-tribuneindia”]

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