Steps taken by the Government to ensure timely release of funds for Tribal education are as follows:
All Scheme Guidelines are placed on the website of Ministry of Tribal Affairs which enables conformity of States proposals with these.
In respect of funds under Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub plan (TSP) and Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution, proposals from States are examined/ approved by a Project Appraisal Committee (PAC), comprising Secretary (Tribal Affairs) as Chairman with representatives of NITI Aayog, Financial Advisor and representatives of the concerned State(s) / some Central Ministries as members / invitees. The PAC provides a forum for discussion for addressing any issues in the State proposal, as well as transparency wherein the States know immediately about the need for providing additional information to facilitate appraisal and approval of proposals. This prevents potential delays in funds release.
From 2016-17 onwards, scholarships are being disbursed directly into beneficiarys bank account through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and National Scholarship Portal.
As per extant instructions of Ministry of Finance, not more than one-third (33%) of the Budget Estimates may be spent in the last quarter of the financial year. Besides, there is the stipulation that during the month of March the expenditure should be limited to 15% of the Budget Estimate. The restriction of 33% and 15% expenditure ceiling is both scheme-wise as well as for the Demands for Grant as a whole, subject to RE ceiling. These stipulations regarding expenditure also ensure timely release of funds.
A Monthly Expenditure Plan (MEP) is also prepared for enabling timely releases / balanced pace of expenditure. Periodic meetings are held in the Ministry to monitor expenditure progress in accordance with Budget estimate / Revised Estimate scheme-wise and for the Ministry as a whole. Proposals are called for in advance for consideration by PAC.
All Sanction orders (for releases) contain instructions for timely submission of Utilization Certificates and progress reports. This facilitates timely release of subsequent installments. Certain organizations have been categorized as Established Voluntary Agencies (EVAs), whereby there is certain relaxation for release of annual grants. From October, 2015, release advice for State Governments are sent electronically (with digital signature) to RBI, which ensures prompt credit to State Governments.