Chandigarh, July 16, 2020: School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla, on Thursday, said that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab government is committed for the overall development of children of Punjab and most nutritious mid-day meal is being continuously provided to as many as 15.79 lakh students of government schools across Punjab. Vijay Inder Singla added that though the efforts have been hampered due to spread of Covid-19 but the commitment and zeal of teachers have made it possible to tackle with the situtation.
“Despite facing many odds due to the unprecedented pandemic, the teachers have really been doing a commendable job in taking online classes, distributing books apart from foodgrains at the doorstep of every eligible student,” Singla said, while lauding the efforts of government teachers.
The cabinet minister claimed that 8262.23 metric tones (MT) of foodgrains have been sent to the schools to deliver rice and wheat in sealed packets to the students for first financial quarter of academic session 2020-21. He added that for the second quarter (July 20-September 20), allocation of 11,974 MT have also been approved.
Vijay Inder Singla said, “The amount of Rs 37.26 crore as cooking cost have already been sanctioned by the state government which has to be transferred to the accounts of beneficiary students as per the guidelines laid by the Union government. As some students did not have any operative bank account, around Rs. 14 crore is lying with the respective schools.”
Singla added that taking the serious note of the matter, he had directed the education department officials to get nod from Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for releasing cooking amount in cash to the beneficiary students. He said that on July 6, 2020, a written letter has also been sent to Government of India seeking permission for payment of cooking cost in cash to the students but reply is still awaited.
“I have also taken up the matter with HRD minister personally and will get it resolved soon for the wellbeing of the government school students. Once we get the approval, the cooking cost will be given in cash to the students within few days,” the cabinet minister assured.