Expenses of noon-meal scheme to be cleared soon
It was after a huge outcry that the state government cleared the noon-meal scheme dues of head teachers up to the month of September.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government is set to release the fund to meet expenses incurred in October for implementing the noon-meal scheme in schools. This has come as a boost to the noon-meal scheme that had landed in a crisis recently, with head teachers grappling to clear pending dues on account of its implementation.
The general education department informed that the fund for October will soon be disbursed as the Centre has released its second installment of Rs 54.17 crore under PM-POSHAN scheme on November 17. It was after a huge outcry that the state government cleared the noon-meal scheme dues of head teachers up to the month of September.
General Education Minister V Sivankuty blamed the Centre’s ‘unilateral’ amendments to the PM-POSHAN guidelines that resulted in staggered disbursal of funds.
“Instead of disbursing the funds in two installments, the Centre divided it into four tranches without consultation with the states. This is one of the reasons that landed the noon-meal scheme in a crisis recently,” the minister said.
According to the general education department, the Centre has released two installments of Rs 54.17 crore each out of its total share of Rs 284.31 crore this fiscal.
Another Rs 32.34 crore, which was the balance amount of last year, was also released to the state this fiscal taking the total amount to Rs 140.68 crore.
The state has earmarked Rs 357.79 crore for the noon-meal scheme in the budget of which Rs 226.26 crore has already been released, the department said.