mid day meal budget revised in kerala dairynews7x7

The government is considering a proposal to revise the midday meal scheme material cost (funds sanctioned to schools for implementing the scheme) to ₹6 for pre-primary and primary students and ₹8.17 for upper primary students, Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty has said.

He was replying to a calling-attention motion by Saneeshkumar Joseph, Chalakudy MLA, on addressing the crisis in the mid-day meal scheme in the State, in the Assembly here on Tuesday.

Mr. Sivankutty said a recommendation to allocate special funds to the tune of ₹22 a week for each student to provide milk and egg or ‘nendran’ banana as part of supplementary nutrition had also been made by the Director of General Education (DGE).

The DGE had recommended that the material cost allocated to schools be revised with time. At present, ₹8 is sanctioned for each student for up to 150 students in the first slab, ₹7 for a student for students between 151 and 500 in slab two, and ₹6 a student for more than 500 students in the last slab.

It was proposed that instead of the slab system, material cost payment should be categorised into primary and upper primary as had been done by the Union government. Accordingly, the material cost should be ₹6 and ₹8, including Union and State shares, for primary and upper primary sections.

After the Union Education Ministry issued an order in October last year revising the Union and State mandatory rates of the material cost and in the wake of the increase in milk prices in the State from December 1, 2022, a revised proposal was submitted to the government. This proposal was under government consideration.

Mr. Sivankutty said the State had to receive ₹284.31 crore as the Union government share this year for the scheme. The first instalment of the Union government share came to ₹170.59 crore. The State share was ₹97.89 crore, taking the total to ₹209.68 crore. However, the Union government was not sanctioning the first instalment for this year on the grounds that the arrears for the Central share of ₹132.9 crore for the 2021-22 financial year that were sanctioned at the fag end of 2022-23 and the State’s share of ₹76.78 crore had not been released into the DGE’s single nodal account, the Minister said.

When the second instalment for 2021-22 was delayed, the State government had spent its own funds and sent the fund utilisation reports to the Union government. It was on its basis that the State had received funds for the scheme for 2022-23. Asking for the arrears of the Union government share for 2021-22 and the State’s share to be released into the single nodal account was like asking for an expense already incurred to be repeated again. Though accounting problems that would arise if the funds were to be released again and its impracticality had been pointed out, the Union government had not budged.

To take the project forward and prevent the loss of Union government share, the government had issued an order to release ₹209.68 crore in the DGE’s single nodal account. Considering the delay in receiving the Central component, steps would also be taken to release ₹97.89 crore from the State’s mandatory share for the scheme, Mr. Sivankutty said.

An amount of ₹83.49 crore was due to schools for mid-day meal distributed in schools in June and July this year, Mr. Sivankutty had replied to an unstarred question from Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Kottayam MLA, on Monday.

Source : The Hindu Sep 12th 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Subscribe for get daily dairy news

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.