BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Government enhanced budget allocation for the School and Mass Education Department by more than Rs 2,000 crore in 2014-15 from Rs 7,142.83 crore to Rs 9,327.12 crore, Rs 686 crore remains unspent compared to targeted expenditure under different schemes raising questions on their implementation.
Official sources said large scale vacancies in the posts of teachers and other staff in schools, coupled with the unspent funds, have given rise to a very difficult situation affecting teaching. While Secretary in the Department, Usha Padhi, will review the reasons behind such huge unspent funds, Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said steps will be taken to expedite implementation of different schemes.
The Minister said instructions have been issued to utilise the funds in a proper manner for success of different schemes launched by the State Government.
Out of the unspent fund, Rs 269.29 crore was with different district project offices under the Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA), Rs 359.03 crore was with the school management committees (SMCs), Rs 4.46 crore remained with different block offices while Rs 2.44 crore could not be spent at the cluster level.
The low expenditure of funds has affected implementation of different schemes including the mid-day meal, provision of text books, bicycles and uniforms to the students of the primary schools. A large part of the funds remained unspent in the tribal areas where several populist schemes have been launched by the State Government to attract students to schools.