₹1,563 cr. for 2017-20 pending with Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, he says.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking release of the State’s pending amount and revised sharing pattern under the Post Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Castes (PMS-SCs) for 2017-2020.

He said non-release of funds would adversely affect the education of SC students.

The Chief Minister said though the government of India had, on December 31, 2020, amended the guidelines for the scholarship to introduce a revised sharing pattern (60:40), the same had been made effective only from April 1, 2020. No decision had, however, been conveyed for April 1, 2017- March 31, 2020, thus jeopardising the future of scores of SC students, he said.

The Chief Minister said he had in his earlier letters of October 2018 and February 9, 2020 brought to the Prime Minister’s notice the State’s concern regarding ₹1,563 crore for 2017-20 still pending with the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Pointing out that Punjab has the highest percentage of SC population in the country, the Chief Minister said the State deserves special attention on this count. Further, being a border State, it needs to be ensured that its youth get the opportunity of education and employment so that they do not fall prey to anti-social and anti-national elements.

“Therefore, non-release of scholarship funds under the PMS-SCs would adversely affect the education of the SC students, who are unable to pay the fee from their own pocket.”

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