Members of Parliament from Punjab have raised their voice under the leadership of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Sunil Jakhar, against the Union Government for not releasing the grant of Rs 1615.79 crore to Punjab under Post Matric Scholarship scheme for the SC students.Speaking outside Parliament on Tuesday, along with Punjab MPs Santokh Chaudhary, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Mr. Gurjeet Singh Aujla, the Gurdaspur MP Mr. Jakhar said that the central government was unresponsive to the welfare of Scheduled Castes; and has no concern over the interests of the backward communities as well. Divulging the details regarding the pendency of Post Matric Scholarship grant towards Centre, Mr. Jakhar said that arrears for the year 2015-16 Rs 328.72 crore, for 2016-17 Rs 719.52 crore and for 2017-18 Rs 567.55 crores is awaited by the state government from Government of India (GoI) under the said scheme.He further said that under this scheme, the GoI had in the current fiscal year released only Rs 115.73 crores to the state and after its dispersal state had already submitted utilization certificate to GoI. Even then “Modi Sarkar” was not releasing another installment to the state under the scheme. It reflects the insensitivity of the NDA government towards the SC communities in the state.
“In Punjab, where 32 percent population belongs to SC communities, studies of 9,14,132 SC students were affected by non-availability of Scholarship,” he said, adding that due to this the higher education of students was hit and pupils are forced to leave their studies halfway for lack of fee. He urged the Union Government to immediately release the pending amount of scholarship for the SC students.Taking up another important issue related to SC communities in the country, PPCC president Jakhar said that the Central Government has not persuaded the case in Apex court strongly regarding the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and due to this the law which was made to safeguard the interest of community, becomes weak.Mr. Jakhar said that the Center should get a fair look in this regard in the Hon’ble Supreme Court, and discuss it immediately in the Parliament as this affects millions of people those had been suffering for centuries.He said that Opposition could not raise such issues on the floor of the house; as the NDA government was adamant in stalling the proceedings by its colleagues or ex-colleagues in its alliance. “The proceedings of the House for the last 16 days have been disturbed but the central government was doing nothing to run the house smoothly, this is most unfortunate for the democratic values of this country,” he added.