Odisha likely to lose Rs 510 cr under SSA prog

Bhubaneswar: With the Centre reducing its share from 65 per cent to 50 per cent in the Sarva Sikshya Abhijan (SSA) programme, Odisha would lose about Rs 510 crore during the 2015-16 fiscal, official sources said.

“The state is likely to lose Rs 510 crore under SSA. We will strongly object to the decision of the Ministry of Human Resource Development which reduced the Centre’s share from 65 per cent to 50 per cent,” Odisha’s school and mass education minister Debi Prasad Mishra said.

A recent letter from the Ministry of HRD to the state government said that the share between the Centre and state would henceforth become 50:50 and not 65:35 in the SSA programme.

Earlier, the Central government used to bear 90 per cent of expenditure under the programme and the rest 10 per cent was managed by the state government. Later the ratio was changed to 65:35.

While the state was supposed to contribute Rs 651 crore for the SSA in 2015-16, now under the changed sharing pattern, Odisha needs to arrange Rs 1,160 crore in order to meet the expectation. The state has already estimated an expenditure of Rs 2,321 crore under SSA in 2015-16 fiscal, an official pointed out.

The minister said the department would soon draw attention of the Chief Minister and move the Centre seeking continuation of the earlier sharing pattern. “If required we will meet Union HRD Minister and request her not to change the sharing pattern in middle of the financial year,” Mishra said.

This apart, Mishra pointed out that the Centre has also stopped funding under the Model School Scheme. “We were expecting an amount of Rs 300 crore from the Centre this year under the model school scheme. It will be difficult for Odisha to take additional burden of Rs 810 crore (Rs 510 crore for SSA and Rs 300 crore for model school),” he said.