| Governor Devanand Konwar awards a certificate to a graduate at the second convocation ceremony of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara in the presence of the institute director, R Panth (left), at Rabindra Bhavan in Patna on Monday, a day before the cabinet released funds for salary payment of teachers and non-teaching staff in universities. Telegraph picture
The cabinet on Tuesday approved the release of Rs 1,081.69 crore to different universities to ensure that they did not face any difficulty in paying salaries to teachers and non-teaching staff.
Cabinet coordination committee principal secretary Ravikant said: The cabinet gave its nod to the release of Rs 1081.69 crore as non-plan expenditure for payment of salaries to the teachers and the non-teaching staff between March 2012 and February 2013. Of the total amount, Rs 77.03 crore would go to Patna University, Rs 271.08 crore to Magadh University and Rs 156.95 crore to Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University (Muzaffarpur).
Many universities could not pay salary because the state government had not released salary grants to the institutes. Barring Patna University that has a back up of internal resources, most universities were facing challenges in paying salaries to its teachers and officials. More than 8,000 teachers and 30,000 non-teaching staff of various universities and colleges across the state have been facing difficulties because of non-payment of salaries for four months.
The Federation of University Teachers Associations of Bihar had earlier threatened to resort to agitation if the salaries were not released immediately.
Reacting to the cabinets decision, Patna University Teachers Association president P.K. Poddar said: It (the cabinet) should have approved release of the fund much earlier. Had the cabinet done it, various teachers working in universities would have got salaries on time and not faced financial difficulties.
The cabinet also gave its nod to construction of water pipelines in 75 tolas (hamlets) in the Shahpur block of Rohtas district. It approved 223.84 crore to construct pipelines in the arsenic-affected areas. Hand pumps have been approved for 7,044 anganwadi centres at a cost of Rs 27 crore, Ravikant, the principal secretary, said. He adding: The cabinet approved construction four state highways covering 254km at an estimated cost of Rs 1,658 crore. Asian Development Bank (ADB) will bear 80 per cent of the total cost and state government will bear the rest of the amount.
The cabinet also gave its nod to establishment of a state project facilitation unit under technical education quality improvement programme (Phase II). The state government will bear Rs 29 crore for the project.
Another decision taken at the cabinet meeting was to approve release of Rs 26.12 crore for power transmission at Kanti Thermal Power plant. The first unit at the plant would be functional by June 2013 and the second by September next year. The cabinet also gave its nod to creation of posts in the judicial inquiry committee constituted to probe into last years Forbesganj police firing.