Pay parity: Bihar authorities quotes completely different figures in SC and HC

PATNA: The state government, it seems, is not sure how much additional annual financial burden will be on the state exchequer if those on contract are paid the salary equal to the regular schoolteachers. The government has quoted different figures in the and the Patna high court in this regard, claimed advocate , who is representing Bihar Madhyamaik Sikshak Sangh in the apex court.
The state government had moved the Supreme Court against the Patna high court order dated October 31 last year to pay the contractual teachers the same salary the regular government schoolteachers were being given in the state. The apex court has asked the Centre and the state to chalk out a formula on how to bear the additional burden of paying equal pay to around 4 lakh contractual teachers. The next date of hearing is on March 27.

Advocate told TOI the state government submitted before the Patna high court that it would have to bear the additional annual financial burden of Rs9,929.48 crore if contractual teachers are paid equal to their regular counterparts. “However, the state submitted before the Supreme Court that the government will have to bear additional annual burden of Rs28,000 crore if it brings parity in the salary of contractual and regular teachers,” Abhay said.

According to the HC judgement, advocate general while representing the education department submitted that there were 3,19,703 teachers in elementary schools and 37,529 teachers in secondary and higher secondary schools under the panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies in the state and the estimated budgetary expenditure (towards payment of salaries) is about Rs8,924.48 crores per annum.

The court had also mentioned the state’s submission that if the teachers appointed by the local bodies were allowed salary on par with regular counterparts, the estimated budget would come to around Rs18,853.96 crore, for which additional budgetary allocation of Rs9,929.48 crore would be required.

However, during the hearing by Justices A K Goel and UU Lalit of the Supreme court on January 29, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi represented the state government and submitted that if the high court judgment was implemented, approximately Rs50,000 crore would be required to pay as arrears since 2009 as per the HC order and the additional liability would be Rs28,000 crore per annum on the state government. The first writ petition was filed in the Patna HC in 2009. The sangh’s advocate said the state government, however, did not clarify how around Rs50,000 crore would be required for paying arrears to the contractual teachers.

He said the state’s education department surrendered on an average Rs5,614 crore to the central government in each financial year from 2013-2014 to 2016-17. “These funds, if used, will bring down the financial burden of the state government,” he said and added, “The state government concealed all these facts. A note prepared on several such financial aspects was submitted before the SC,” he said.

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