According to the GR, ‘school uniforms’ have been removed permanently from the list of items mentioned under the DBT scheme.
Mumbai: The BJP-led state government’s direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme has hit a roadblock even as parents of students are finding it difficult to maintain the minimum balance while paying other bank charges including SMS/GST charges.
As a result, the government has decided to remove school uniforms from the DBT scheme. A savings account of the beneficiaries under this scheme had been opened where money would be transferred directly whenever school uniforms were purchased. But now the government will give uniforms directly to the students, a government resolution (GR) said. The GR was issued by the planning department on June 4.
According to the GR, ‘school uniforms’ have been removed permanently from the list of items mentioned under the DBT scheme. The GR further stated that the banks were levying various charges on the accounts of the beneficiaries which was making it difficult for them to avail the money.
The GR said, “Rs 400 for school uniforms is transferred to each student’s bank account under the centrally sponsored scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) by the school and sports department. But difficulty is being faced in maintaining the zero balance savings bank account of the student annually.”
For transactions, it has been made compulsory to pay charges like the SMS/GST charge and maintain minimum balance charges of the account, the GR stated.
“It is difficult for students to avail free school uniforms on time. As a result, it is recommended that school uniforms be permanently removed from the list of items mentioned in the DBT scheme,” the GR said. In July 2018, the state government had decided to remove school uniforms from the list of items under the DBT scheme for the educational year 2018-19 only for similar reasons.
A senior official from the Planning Department told The Asian Age, “The proposal was sent by the state education department to us to remove ‘school uniforms’ from DBT.”
In 2016, the state government had compiled a list of 44 items, being availed through the DBT. Sources said that the government spent close to Rs 200 crore annually on this scheme alone.