BHUBANESWAR: The state government has taken exception to the non-release of funds by the Centre for the implementation of the 'Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts' scheme.
In a letter to union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram, the chief minister expressed his concern over the issue and said the state has not received about `25.42 crore for 2014-15 and 2015-16 under the scheme.
This has affected 19 educational complexes set up by the state government in areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) to address the issue of very low level of female literacy and bridge the critical gap in education. Naveen underscored urgent need for release of the funds and requested Oram's personal intervention in this matter.
Stating that the state government has been attaching priority to education of students belonging to Tribal and Dalit communities, the chief minister said out of 75 PVTGs in the country, 13 live in Odisha.
The chief minister said ministry of tribal affairs (MOTA) has been providing funds under the scheme since 2008-09 for managing these educational complexes. These educational complexes are being managed by the Odisha Model Tribal Education Society (OMTES), a government sponsored society.
"It is a matter of concern that funds under the scheme have not been released to the state government for the year 2014-15 and 2015-16. The state government in the meantime have incurred expenditure out of its resources, which is putting extra financial burden on the already stretched revenue resources of the state," he said.
Hence there is an urgent need for release of allocation from the MOTA under the scheme amounting to ` 12.38 crore for the year 2014-15 and ` 13.04 crore for the year 2015-16, he said.