Welfare Schemes Hit Fund Crunch Hurdle, Lakhs Affected

Hyderabad: Welfare schemes of the BRS government are facing a fund crunch hurdle, with benefits pending for an array of beneficiaries, causing hardships to them.

Among the major pending schemes are funds disbursal of arrears of over Rs 3,000 crore in fee reimbursements and scholarships, and Rythu Bandhu aid for farmers owning over five acres.

The implementation of Dalit Bandhu’s second phase and Gruha Lakshmi scheme has also been put off due to the paucity of funds. With this, beneficiaries are running from pillar to post and making daily rounds of government offices to know the status of welfare schemes.

The managements of private colleges have held up original certificates of lakhs of students, who cleared their final exams in April/ May, due to pending fee reimbursements. Students said they are forced to pay the dues on their own, if they wanted certificates to apply for higher education courses. Those who fail to pay are losing higher education opportunities.

Farmers owning over five acres are also making continuous enquiries with the banks and agriculture extension officers over pending aid under Rythu Bandhu, which started on June 26 and covered farmers owning up to five acres by July 10.

Similarly, the government released guidelines for the selection of beneficiaries under Dalit Bandhu’s second phase and Gruha Laxmi scheme in June. But the selection has been put on hold due to paucity of funds. There is no clarity on when the benefits of these long-pending schemes would reach the beneficiaries.

Under Dalit Bandhu, 1.30 lakh Dalit families, covering 1,100 beneficiaries in each Assembly constituency, and 4 lakh poor families, covering 3,000 beneficiaries in each Assembly constituency, are awaiting the benefits. The Cabinet approved these schemes in March, but they have failed to take off even after four months.

Also, over 5.3 lakh applied for a Rs 1-lakh financial aid scheme for BCs launched on June 9, but the government approved only Rs 400 crore against Rs 530 crore. Further, the release of funds is pending.

Aasara pensions scheme is also facing a funds crunch, due to which disbursement is delayed, with many beneficiaries alleging a pendency of one or two months in several districts.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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