The Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minority Welfare Minister, Punjab, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot today demanded from the Union Government to take immediate measures to release Punjab’s share of Rs. 1046.48 crores under various welfare schemes pertaining to the state so as to not let the work related to the all round welfare and development of scheduled castes and backward classes get hampered at any cost.In his address here today at Haryana Niwas on the occasion of ‘One Day Regional Social Welfare Conference of 6 States’, the minister said that the Post Matric Scholarship scheme is very significant for the career building of students hailing from Scheduled Castes . He said that under the scheme, the Union Government owes Punjab Government an amount to the tune of Rs. 1046.48 crore regarding 2015-16 and 2016-17. He further stated that due to non-release of funds for 2017-18 the admission process of students is being adversely affected and made a strong case for the immediate release of the amount considering the future of 3 lakh students.
Mr. Dharamsot further divulged that an amount to the extent of Rs. 18.43 crore for 2016-17, under Pre Matric Scholarship scheme for SC students as per which students of class 9th and 10th get scholarships, is pending with the Union Government whereas a new plan of Rs. 46.41 crore for next 5 years is being formulated. Disclosing more, he said that the proposals of Rs. 76.33 crore under Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatravas Yojna have been sent to the Union Government by the Punjab Government for year 2016-17 which need instant approval for the welfare of the Scheduled Caste category students.Elaborating more, the minister said that under Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna implemented in 2014-15 only 112 villages of Punjab have been included whereas there are 2800 such villages which have scheduled caste population of more than 50 percent. He also revealed that the State Government is linking various welfare schemes with the aadhar card and the bank accounts and ‘e-portal’ is being operationalized for ensuring that the benefits under the scholarship schemes reach students of 1st to 10th standard.
On the occasion, the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mr. Thawar Chand Gehlot appealed to the ministers and higher officials of the 6 states to derive maximum benefit from the central schemes for the welfare and betterment of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes. Emphasising a great deal upon all the states to first carefully examine the proposals to be sent to the Union Government, the Union Minister said that these proposals must be sent timely in order to give maximum benefit to the beneficiaries. The Union Ministers of state for Social Justice and Empowerment Mr. Vijay Sampla and Mr. Ramdas Athawale also addressed on the occasion. Afterwards, a seminar with the entrepreneurs was also held at hotel shivalikview where Mr. Gehlot inaugurated a website and released a booklet titled ‘Venture Capital Fund For Scheduled Castes-Success Stories’.On the occasion, Welfare Minister, Haryana Mr. Krishan Kumar Bedi, Welfare Minister, Himachal Pradesh Dr. Dhani Ram Shandil, Welfare Ministers and senior officers from Uttrakhand and Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Principal Secretary, Welfare Department, Punjab Mr. Sarbjit Singh, Director Welfare Department Mr. Malwinder Singh Jaggi, Director (SC-ST) cum Joint Director Mr. Raj Bahadur Singh and all additional, Joint and Deputy Directors were also present.