Hyderabad: The green channel system in the finance department that was to speedily disburse funds for student scholarships and fee waiver and social security pensions for the poor has been ignored. The treasury department has stopped funds to the green channel to adjust amounts or for other purposes.
The green channel It facilitates one-time rel-ease of funds required for these schemes through budget release orders. Following the directions of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, the finance department had issued BROs for scholarships, fee reimbursement and pensions at one go, amounting to nearly Rs 7,500 crore. Of this, Rs 3,061 crore pertain to scholarships and fee reimbursement and Rs 4,438 crore to Aasara pensions.
As the orders were issued, the departments for BC, SC, ST and minorities welfare began approaching the treasury department to claims funds for students besides panchayat raj and rural development department approaching for pension funds.
The treasury department, however, refused to release the funds citing tight financial conditions, defeating the very purpose of green channel system.
The treasury department has so far stopp-ed Rs 1,161 crore for students and Rs 2,000 crore for pensions, affecting 12 lakh students and 33 lakh pensioners. The pensioners, these prio-rities were changed by officials due to directions from higher-ups.
“Irrigation projects, Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya are our priorities for which all the funds are being mobilised to pay up contractors. The funds for students and pensioners can be adjusted only if the financial condition improves,” said a finance official.
“The green channel was meant for students and pensioners but it is benefiting contractors whose bills are being paid while others are kept pending for months,” said R. Krishnaiah, BC leader.
Draw of lots for welfare loans
Shortage of funds for self-employment schemes is forcing the welfare departments to opt for draw of lots to select the beneficiaries.
Departments of BCs, SCs, STs and minorities welfare have not lent money for the past year due to paucity of funds tho-ugh lakhs of applications are pending.
Under pressure fr-om caste organisations, the government had recently released Rs 200 crore of the Rs 1,000-crore arrears, forcing officials to select the beneficiaries through draw of lots.
One such draw of lots was held to select beneficiaries under minority category recently. The government provides loans under bank-linked self-employment schemes and bears 70 per cent subsidy. Over 8,700 applied after the minorities’ welfare department invited applications from eligible candidates eight months ago.
After verification, it approved loans to 1,066 applicants and issued consent letters. When the beneficiaries approached the officials to claim loans amounting up to Rs 2 lakh, they were asked them to participate in draw of lots due to shortage of funds....