TODAY -

Fund stall suspends mid-day meals for kids
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 29 2011: With exception to contract works, the release of fund for other projects including that of Mid-Day Meal Scheme under the Education Department (S) has been affected on account of the pending process of converting the Abstract Contingency (AC) to Direct Contingency (DC) by the Finance Department.

According to a reliable source in the Finance Department, delay in completion of the process of converting AC into DC has affected the release of fund of most Departments.

But the main reason behind delay is the failure of the Departments to submit necessary documents in time to the Finance Department.

The Government had even issued an order making it very clear that no fund would be released until completion of the process for converting AC into DC.

On account of the pending process of converting AC into DC, release of fund for Mid-Day Meal Scheme too has been held up.

Though the Government of India has provided the fund for April to June, the same has been held up in the Finance Department creating a situation where it is increasingly difficult to ensure mid-day meal to the school children every day.

In accordance with the guidelines of implementing Mid-Day Meal Scheme, the required fund is to be released within 20 days of sanctioning by the Government of India.

Information received from the Education Department said that an amount of Rs 6.54 crores that the Government of India has provided as Central share for the implementation of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is pending awaiting clearance in the Finance Department.

The pending amount include payment to FCI for supplying rice, the ration amount of Rs 2.60 for each of the children at primary level and Rs 3.90 for children at upper primary level as well as for monitoring the scheme.

The Education Department has already sent a proposal to the Government for releasing necessary fund in time to ensure cooked food to the children, the source disclosed.

The source further disclosed that a sum of Rs 1000 is being provided to each school for purchasing firewood to cook meals.

But this arrangement of providing Rs 1000 even to schools with less students is unreasonable.

Moreover, the ration amount currently being provided would not be enough to ensure the quantity of calories prescribed for students in accordance to the guidelines.

So, the Department has submitted another proposal for increasing the ration amount to Rs 1.40 for children of primary level and to Rs 1.60 to children of upper primary level.

But the clearance of the proposal too has remained pending has the Finance Department has not given the convey order, the source added.


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