Budget limits beneficiaries

Govt to dole out cash to only 1.48 lakh students

Financial constraint has made the SP government limit the number of beneficiaries of Kanya Vidya Dhan scheme in the second phase to 1.48 lakh girl students. This despite the fact that the government has received applications from 6.48 lakh odd students. The reason being the government allotted an additional amount of only Rs 450 crore in the supplementary budget for the scheme.

The Secondary Education Department has sent a new list of the number of beneficiaries that can be selected in all districts to the divisional commissioners and district magistrates. The new 1,48,055 beneficiaries to be covered under the scheme will include 74,291 from general category, 49,497 from the SC/STs and 24,267 from the minorities.

Under the scheme, girls who have cleared Class XII board exams in 2012 are entitled to an one-time financial assistance of Rs 30,000 for pursuing higher studies, provided the annual income of the family does not exceed Rs 35,000.

While launching the scheme in September, the government had set a target to benefit 1.35 lakh girls and had allotted Rs 436.35 crore in the budget. The beneficiaries were selected in the ascending order of families' annual income. The Secondary Education Department, meanwhile, received as many as 6,48,577 application. But in the supplementary budget, the government allotted only Rs 450 crore that will benefit on 1.48 lakh more applicants in the second phase. The remaining 3.65 lakh odd applicants will have to wait as the government has to spend Rs 1,095 crore more to give them the cash benefit.

Secondary Education Secretary Partha Sarthi Sensharma refused to comment on the remaining 3.65 lakh applicants and said it is a budget-bound scheme. In recent weeks, there have been protests in several parts of the state by the girls alleging bias in the selection of the beneficiaries.

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