Apathy: DSEK fails to utilize around 7 Cr sanctioned under central schemes
Srinagar: At a time when the state education department raises hue and cry over non-availability of funds to improve upon the services and infrastructure in the education sector, details have surfaced pointing towards an unspent amount of Rs 7 Crore by the department.
“A whooping amount of more than Rs 7 Crore has remained unspent over the years which was otherwise sanctioned and released under various centrally sponsored schemes,” an official of the department said.
The funds were released for the department under the erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) since the inception of these schemes in the state.
Notably, the development came to fore during a recent audit called by the department of school education wherein the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) and Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) were asked to submit the total expenditure of the funds released by the MHRD over the years.
“The audit was called following the merger of the SSA and RMSA scheme into integrated SAMAGRA Shiksha,” an official said.
Pertinently, the new integrated Samagra Shiksha scheme was launched from April this year following which Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) directed school education department to open fresh accounts under new Samarga Shiksha for receiving central funding.
“With this the previous accounts of SSA and RMSA were frozen and CEOs and ZEOs were asked not to utilize the money from the previous accounts,” the official said.
He said the CEOs and ZEOs were instead asked to create new accounts under Samagra Shiksha to utilize the funds released from the financial year 2018-19.
“The funds which remained unspent over the years had got accumulated and department couldn’t utilize it in any way,” the official said.
The non-utilization of funds exposed sluggishness of the department to use resources for overall development of education sector in J&K bellying the tall claims of the successive regimes to take education sector to new heights in the state.
The official said the major component of funds remained unutilized in civil works which were supposed to be executed under SSA and RMSA schemes.
The official said Rs 4 Crore remained unutilized which were meant for construction of school buildings and an amount of Rs 3.2 Crore remained unspent which was supposed to be utilized on out-of-school children and motivate them to return to schools.
State Project Director (SPD) Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan Tufail Ahmad Matoo admitted the non-utilisation of funds and said the matter has been taken up with state finance department.
“We will follow the finance department guidelines in this regard,” he said.