MCD release pending funds after audit report flags delay, school rues less amount disbursed

- February 23, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

Vikas Tripathi, the director of the MCD's education department, explained that the outstanding funds will be released upon the opening of the students' bank accounts

(Photo: Wikipedia)

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has finally disbursed pending funds for the purchase of school uniforms, stationery, and bags for students, following a delayed disbursement since 2016-17, documents indicate.

However, while this disbursement covers a significant portion of the student body, approximately 2,73,122 out of a total of 7.88 lakh students in MCD schools have yet to receive their allocated funds. The reasons for this unequal distribution remain unspecified.

Vikas Tripathi, the director of the MCD’s education department, explained that the outstanding funds will be released upon the opening of the students’ bank accounts. “Bank accounts are being opened through a special drive,” he stated, “Previously, approval was granted for 75% of students. Now, draft approval has been raised to 90% to ensure all students with active accounts receive the allocated funds.”

Tripathi also emphasized that the funds have already been transferred to the zonal heads of the education department, who will oversee the disbursement to the schools.

“An amount of Rs 300, Rs 1,100, and Rs 120 per child enrolled in pre-primary to fifth classes in MCD schools for the purchase of stationery, uniform, and school bags respectively for the current year 2023-24 has been approved by the corporation,” the documents confirmed. This allocation only covers 5,14,878 students.

The Delhi Bhartiya Janta Party United criticised the ruling AAP-led MCD government for releasing these funds after the academic year had concluded, pointing out that this delayed disbursement was unfair to the students.

The MCD has disbursed a total of Rs 56,63,65,800 for uniforms, Rs 15,44,63,400 for notebooks and stationery, and Rs 6,17,85,360 for school bags for the students across its 12 zones for the academic session 2023-24.

In response to the delayed release of funds, an MCD school principal has written to the education department expressing concern. The principal noted that while the funds received were sufficient for only 45 students, the school has a current strength of 191 students, including 64 with active bank accounts.

The audit report emphasized that approximately 48.74% of MCD school students did not receive the welfare scheme’s benefits from 2016-17 to 2022-23 due to the absence of open bank accounts.

As per the corporation’s guidelines, the MCD provides a cash subsidy of Rs 1,100 for school uniforms, Rs 300 for notebooks and stationery, and Rs 120 for school bags to students through direct bank transfer.

(With PTI inputs)