New Delhi: The additional burden due to implementing the midday meal scheme in schools that states face on account of withdrawal of subsidy on LPG cylinders will be reimbursed to them, the government said on Wednesday.
“The HRD Ministry is already providing 75 percent of the cooking cost to all states and Union Territories. The fuel cost is a part of the cooking cost," Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said.
"The Ministry has also requested all states and UTs to supply the midday meal in an uninterrupted manner without effecting the nutrition of the eligible children, despite discontinuation of supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to the midday meal scheme by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
"The additional burden on account of withdrawal of subsidy on LPG cylinders would be reimbursed to states/UTs," Tharoor said this in a written reply in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.
He also said that in 68 percent schools across the country, midday meal is cooked on fuels other than gas.
In response to another question, Tharoor said the HRD Ministry had received a reference for the inclusion of content on - Avoidance of Food wastage in the syllabi of secondary and higher secondary schools from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, food and Public Distribution.
He said content related to `wastage of food` has been included in the syllabus on Health and Physical Education, a compulsory subject upto the secondary stage.
A total of 12 corruption cases have been reported in the mid-day meal scheme this year so far, Tharoor said.
Responding to a question, he said 12 cases of corruption while 13 cases iregularities were reported in the implementation of the midday meal scheme.
While five cases of corruption were reported from Uttar Pradesh, two cases each were reported from Haryana and Maharashtra. Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar reported a case each, he said.
Tharoor also said Jharkhand, UP and West Bengal reported two cases each of irregularities in the scheme while a single case of irregularity was reported from Bihar, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Odisha.
Answering another question, Tharoor said the government has suspended a Joint Secretary in the University Grants Commission (UGC) and initiated disciplinary action against her on the basis of a report filed by the CBI on a corruption case.