Several minority students await fee reimbursement; majority funds unspent

March 15, 2023 09:36 pm | Updated 09:37 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Several students belonging to the minority communities in Telangana have been been waiting for their college fee reimbursement, and in some cases, have had to pay fee from their own pockets to have their certificates released from educational institutions.

According to students, the fee reimbursement for the final year of their education has not been credited in the accounts of their colleges.

“I recently completed my diploma. Each year, the fee was around ₹ 15,000. While the verification and other processes for fee reimbursement are done, I am yet to receive my tuition fee for the final year,” Shaik Aslam, who was studying in a college near Nizampet, said. “There are several students who are facing the same problem.”

The problem appears to be recurrent. It was after fee reimbursement for the year 2020-21 did not come that Aslam wrote to the Minorities Welfare Department (MWD), explaining the situation. “I recently received the reimbursement for 2020-21, but I don’t know when the reimbursement for 2021-22 will come,” he said.

In a similar case, M A Bari completed his MBA in 2020 from a degree college in Banjara Hills. The fee for each year was around ₹ 70,000. He said that despite being told that the funds had been released, no headway had been made. “I raised funds and paid off the college fee on my own. It was important to get my certificates released. I had to look for a job and am currently employed in Saudi Arabia. There are many who cannot even borrow money and pay” Bari said, as he pointed out that he received the token number very recently.

Data obtained by means of the Right to Information (RTI) Act indicates that there has been a gap between fund allocation for reimbursement of tuition fee (RTF) and the actual expenditure. Sample this: the budgetary allocation for RTF in FY 2022-23 was ₹ 200 crore. While the amount released was ₹ 150 crore, the actual expenditure was less than ₹ 80 crore.

In FY 2021-22, data shows that the allocation was a little over ₹ 206 crore and the expenditure was nearly ₹ 205 crore. However, in the preceding year, the allocation was ₹ 200 crore and expenditure was about ₹ 137 crore.

For their part, sources from the government who did not wish to be identified said that efforts were under way to ensure reimbursement funds were paid before March 31. While in many cases bills have already been submitted, they are yet to be cleared.

“We are making sure that at least students who are in their final years get their RTF. That way they will not have a problem with college certificates being withheld. It is true that in many cases RTF has not been paid, but this is being done at the earliest. Bills from this district have been raised and sent,” an official said.

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