PATNA: In a setback to lakhs of teachers appointed on contractual basis, the ruling Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has expressed inability to pay them salary at par with regular teachers.
The state government says the financial condition of the state does not permit it to implement the Patna High Court order asking for “equal pay for equal work”.
Authorities said it was just impossible to implement the HC order which also asks for paying arrears to teachers with retrospective effect from 2009.
“The arrears amount itself comes to around Rs 75,000 crores. Paying this amount would mean suspend the entire development projects in the state. Moreover, from where will this amount come?” Bihar chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh asked the media on Saturday.
Authorities added implementing the HC order would entail an annual financial burden of around Rs25,000 crores which is the annual budget of education department.
Right now, the state government has been spending Rs 10,000 crores on making salary payment of these teachers.
“If the HC order is implemented, the state government will have to spend Rs 15,000 crores more annually while the state government has been arranging their salary payment with Rs 7,200 crores which it receives under Education For All project,” an official said.
Last month in a landmark judgment, the Patna High Court ruled that thousands of teachers appointed on contractual basis were entitled for getting salary at par with the regular teachers appointed in government schools.
A division bench comprising chief justice Rajendra Menon and justice Anil Kumar Pandey gave the judgment while hearing a bunch of petitions from contractual teachers.
The judgment has come as a huge relief to around 4 lakh teachers who were appointed on contractual basis by the Nitish Kumar government.
Initially, the contractual teachers were appointed on a monthly salary of Rs 5,000, Rs 7,000 and Rs 9,000 but later the government had to regularize their services following strong protests from teachers.
Under pressures from the striking teachers, the state government later also announced that they were entitled for availing wage hike after implementation of 7th pay commission.