Seeking a financial assistance of Rs 16,000 crore from the Centre, Orissa government on Tuesday said it was unlikely to implement the Right to Education Act from April 1 due to dearth of funds.

“Though we welcome the Right to Education Act, it is not possible to implement the legislation due to lack of funds required for it,” School and Mass Education Minister Pratap Jena told reporters.

As huge funds are required to make fresh appointment of teachers, build new infrastructure and other amenities, the State government might not be able to implement it on April 1.

The Minister said additional 30,000 schools need to be opened for making the RTE effective. “We have already informed the Centre regarding the state’s difficulties,” he said.

The State government’s stand on implementation of the law to make education a fundamental right of every child in the age group of six to 14 years, came a day after President Pratibha Patil in her address to the joint sitting of Parliament announced the date of implementation of the RTE Act.

“Framing law is not sufficient to make education a fundamental right. The Centre has to assist states to make it effective,” he said, demanding a special category status in terms of education for the state.

Otherwise, Mr. Jena said Orissa should be provided funds on mass education sector in 90:10 ratio, a provision made for North Eastern states.