BJD submits memorandum to President on post-matric scholarship scheme

Bhubaneswar: A delegation of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), headed by Odisha Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera, submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday appealing to restore the original funding pattern of the post-matric scholarship scheme for the Scheduled Caste students.

In its memorandum, submitted through the Governor of Odisha, the BJD claimed that the revised pattern has given a “severe jolt” to the scheme. While requesting his intervention in the matter, the party urged the President to direct the Centre to reconsider the revised pattern and restore the original funding pattern of 90:10 for smooth implementation of the programme.

The BJD pointed out that the post-matric scholarship is a centrally sponsored scheme, wherein until 2016-17 the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was providing about 90 per cent, while the state government was bearing the remaining 10 per cent of the actual expenditure. In 2016-17, the Centre’s share was Rs 215.80 crore while the state’s share was Rs 22.48 crore, the party said.

With the changed pattern, however, the memorandum read: “It is a matter of concern that from 2017-18 onwards, the Ministry has revised the liability of the state government towards post-matric scholarship, wherein the state government has to bear more than 80 per cent of the total expenditure. During 2017-18, the state government had to provide Rs 238.28 crore, while the Ministry allocated a meager Rs 35.12 crore. During 2018-19, the state government has to provide Rs 238.28 crore, while Government of India share is projected to be Rs 49.39 crore,” the memorandum stated.