Lack of Funds Stalls the Construction at Government Schools

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A principal from Ludhiana, speaking on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the Block Primary Education Officer (BPEO) instructed them not to generate Physical Payment Advices (PPAs). The school, facing a challenge of accommodating more students with limited space, urgently needs additional rooms for the upcoming session. However, due to a shortage of funds, school officials have been financing the construction work out of their own pockets.

Government schools have been waiting for nearly a month for funds to carry out regular maintenance works, as the state education department faces a financial crunch. At a smart senior secondary school in Ludhiana, construction work is underway to address the space issue. However, the lack of funds has compelled school officials to fund the project personally, which they acknowledge is unsustainable in the long run.

“We are currently financing the project from our own pockets, but this cannot continue indefinitely,” expressed an official on the condition of anonymity. He further revealed that pending Physical Payment Advices (PPAs) worth ₹3 to 4 lakh exacerbate the situation.

The Education Department has instructed schools to halt the generation of PPAs, which are receipts generated in the Public Financial Management System (PFMS). PFMS is utilized by the Centre to directly allocate funds to schools. Once allocated, schools can access these funds for various expenditures. Following the completion of a task, the school initiates a fund transfer to the vendor on the portal and generates a PPA for verification and completion of payment.

A Ludhiana school principal lamented the situation, stating, “We had generated PPAs amounting to ₹1 lakh. Initially, we noticed the deduction on PFMS, but as we did not submit the PPAs, the deducted amount reappeared in the portal. It’s perplexing. If we have the funds, why can’t we utilize them?”

A BPEO from the district, choosing to remain anonymous, corroborated this information, confirming that the department had instructed schools to suspend payments. He asserted, “If it were a technical issue, it would have been resolved within a few days.”

Director General of School Education, Punjab, Vinay Bublani, affirmed the issue, attributing it to the delayed disbursement of funds from the Centre under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan.

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