The State government would take steps to clear fee reimbursement arrears to the students for the year 2015-16 by March 31, 2017.
An assurance to this effect was made by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in the Telangana Assembly on Thursday while replying to clarifications sought by the Opposition members, who had staged a protest in the House on Wednesday.
It may be mentioned here that the Opposition members, not satisfied with the reply of the Chief Minister on the issue of fee reimbursement dues and scholarships to students yesterday, sought clarifications. However, even as the members were insisting for clarifications, the House was adjournment leading to a sit-in protest by the Opposition members. The protesting members were ultimately evicted from the House.
As soon as the Assembly commenced sitting this morning, the Chief Minister explained that the Government was ready with answers to the clarifications sought by the members and that there was no intension to disregard or disrespect the members in adjourning the House. He pointed out that since all the concerned officials were not available at that time to clear all the doubts of the members, the House was adjourned.
The Chief Minister said he was ready to answer every point the members wished to raise but first let the House complete the question hour. He urged the Speaker to first complete the question hour as per the agenda and then the Opposition members could seek clarifications. After the Congress, BJP, TDP and MIM members sought answers from the government to specific aspects on the fee reimbursement issue, the Chief Minister pointed out that piling up of fee reimbursement dues was a continuous process since the year the scheme was introduced during the Congress regime.
Allaying the apprehensions and concerns of the members regarding the impact on the students’ careers due to non-clearance of the dues, the Chief Minister assured that the State government would ensure that the arrears for the year 2015-16 would be definitely cleared by March 31 this year. He further reiterated that the TRS Government had inherited fee reimbursement dues totaling Rs.1,880 crore since the year 2010-11 and yet an amount of Rs 4,687 crore was paid as fee reimbursement.
Observing that the TRS Government has no intention of discontinuing the scheme and that it was committed to ensure academic excellence of the students, KCR at the same time stressed the need for brining certain modifications in the system of implementation of the scheme not only to prevent piling up of arrears but also to ensure that it would not overburden the State exchequer. For this he was prepared to discuss ways and means at an all-party meeting, if need be, to be convened soon.
As regards merit students belonging to SC and ST getting admissions in general quota in Hyderabad Public School and thus being denied the scholarships, the Chief Minister assured that required measures would be taken forthwith that such students would also be made eligible for the scholarships. Referring to concerns expressed by the Opposition members that some students were losing job opportunities because of the colleges not issuing certificates on the pretext that the fee reimbursement dues were not cleared, the Chief Minister assured that he would take all responsibilities in protecting the job opportunities of students if the required information was passed on to him. (NSS)