Telangana fails to keep word on clearing fee sop arrears

The finance department has told the government that it cannot arrange such a huge amount in next 15 days due to tight financial condition.

Hyderabad: The TS government’s promise to clear Rs 1,800 crore students’ fee reimbursement arrears by March 31 will remain unfulfilled. These arrears pertain to academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The finance department has told the government that it cannot “arrange” such a huge amount in the next 15 days due to the tight financial condition.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had promised the Assembly in January to clear the arrears after the Opposition accused the government of neglecting students despite claiming to be a “revenue-surplus state”.

The government continues to miss deadlines on clearing of arrears since the last Budget session in March 2016. The CM had promised to clear all fee arrears before the commencement of 2016-17 academic year in June 2016 and thereafter ensure that no arrears are accrued by releasing funds regularly.

However, a year and another Budget session later, arrears continue to mount.
Ironically, the arrears of 2016-17 are now contributing to the deficit, the sum total vaulting over Rs 4,000 crore.

While this is the case, the government sanctioned just Rs 1,900 crore for fee reimbursement in Budget 2017-18. This would mean that these funds would be sufficient only to clear 2014-15 and 2015-16 arrears and students have to wait for one more year to clear 2016-17 arrears.

Students who finished courses during the last three years remain the worst affected as the colleges have withheld their original certificates citing fee arrears.
They are forced to pay fee to get certificates or wait till the government clears arrears.

“Despite government spending thousands of crores on fee reimbursement every year, it is serving no purpose due to delay in release of funds. Colleges are not functioning properly due to non-payment of salaries to staff and no funds to provide facilities to students. Students too are not getting quality education. If funds are released on time, it would be beneficial for all,” said Nimmatoori Ramesh, chairman, TS Professional Colleges Managements’ Association.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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