Fees Reimbursement Scheme will continue: CM

Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has assured members of the Legislative Assembly that students would not be troubled with regard to fees reimbursement scheme and made it clear that the TRS government would continue the Fees Reimbursement Scheme as it was.

Replying to the House on short discussion on ‘Fees Reimbursement Scheme and Scholarship to Students’ on Wednesday, KCR said that the government needed Rs 2500 crores per year and the government was increasing funds for the scheme comparing with the number of students. He said that the receiving of applications was still going on and the government had already paid Rs 1400 crores this year. The arrears were not new, he said and alleged that the Congress government itself kept fees reimbursement funds in pending.

The Chief Minister said the State government yielded good results with the raids by vigilance department and asked the House whether a State needed 370 engineering colleges. He said the engineering students were competing for constable posts. There was a need to reduce the number of B Ed colleges. He opined that it was not good for the State if 40,000 more students got passed B Ed every year in the State. He said his government started residential schools in the State. 

The government would start 119 BC residential schools in the State soon. The government was giving Rs 20 lakhs to each student for foreign education. He asked the opposition parties not to mislead the students with regard to Fees Reimbursement Scheme. It was a continuous process, he said and stated that the loop holes in the fees reimbursement existed from the beginning. He remembered that the Congress party staged dharnas against the TDP government demanding jobs to graduates and vice-versa and alleged that both Congress and TDP were staging dharnas against the TRS government on same subject.

Speaking at the Assembly media point after the adjournment of the Assembly after a short discussion on Fees Reimbursement Scheme, AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi said his party lodged its protest with the Speaker after the adjournment of the House for not giving chance to clarifications to the opposition parties.

He said the TRS government was running the House against the rules. It was “sad day” that the government, which gave four-page statement on monkey menace and fisheries development, failed to give a full page statement on an important issue fees reimbursement.

Akbaruddin alleged that the Chief Minister had given a false statement in the august House on release of funds to Fees Reimbursement Scheme. He said that the Chief Minister announced that the state government released Rs.1400 crores but in reality it released only Rs.984 crores. He alleged that it is apparent that in 2013-14, Rs.2167 crore was disbursed to 14.44 lakh students towards MTF and RTF. In 2014-15, Rs.2,266 crores was disbursed to 13.84 lakh students. In 2015-16, only Rs.984 crores was released to 14.15 lakh students, indicating that there were huge arrears of Rs.1400 crores to be paid to the colleges and students towards MTF and RTF. In the current financial year 2016-17, about 12.97 lakh applications are received but not a single rupee has been released as the verification of the applications is going on.

The State budget has allocated Rs.2,935 crores for MTF and RTF for SCs , STs, BCs, Minorities, Economically Backward Classes and the Disabled. The allocations include Rs.950 crore for SCs, Rs.304 crores for STs, Rs.1096 crores for BCs, Rs.333 crores for Minorities, Rs.252 crores for EBCs and Rs. 1 crore for disabled.

He said that on account of the enhancement of income ceiling, more students should be covered under MTF and RTF but the fact was that the number of students of SCs, STs, BCs, Minorities, EBCs and Disabled is coming down and questioned the government to tell what are the reasons for this? Except for degree colleges, the number of professional colleges was coming down, including engineering, MBA, MCA, B Ed, Law, Pharmacy, Medicine, M Tech, and M Pharma. Even the number of junior colleges has come down substantially. This is happening as the colleges are either closing down or they are denied affiliation and permission by the concerned authorities, including the universities and the regulatory bodies like AICTE etc.  

Another problem was that the scholarships and fees reimbursement were sanctioned only when the student applicants were enrolled in the colleges which were registered under e-pass. There were a large number of colleges which were not confirmed despite registering themselves. He questioned the government what were the norms for approving the names of colleges under e-pass for the award of scholarships and fees reimbursement to the students enrolled.
Alleging that only 7.70 lakh students were registered out of 9.02 lakh eligible students in the state for fees reimbursement, Akbaruddin said that the state government declared that 4700 colleges were eligible for fees reimbursement though the 6091 colleges were registered out of 6954 colleges in the state. He alleged that as per Vigilance report 37 percent of the colleges were not being confirmed for fees reimbursement. “Where to go these students?”, he questioned.

Education was primary right of the students and it was not proper to the government to say that there were not jobs and hence there was no need of education. “Don’t link education with jobs”, he suggested the government and asked the Chief Minister not to say that there was no need of education as there were no jobs. “How can the government say like that?”, he questioned. The government was not running on democratic manner, he alleged and said that his party would sit and decided what to do in future against the government. -NSS

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