After MHRD snub, 50% shortfall in ReT salaries

After MHRD snub, 50% shortfall in ReT salaries
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Irshad Khan

Srinagar: After the Ministry Human Resource Development (MHRD) declined to fully reimburse the funds for the teachers recruited in the state under the erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, there is a fifty percent shortfall in the salary of teachers.
Kashmir Reader had reported earlier that in the Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting of the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan-the merger of the erstwhile government of India’s SSA and RMSA schemes held on June 20, only Rs 977 crore out of the proposed Rs 2624 crore by the state were approved for the salary component of the SSA teachers.
Post the merger of the SSA and RMSA schemes from this year, there has been a “drastic reduction” in the salary component of the teachers working under the erstwhile twin schemes, a top official in the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, JK told Kashmir Reader.
While around Rs 1,600 crore were approved by the MHRD last year “only for the salary of teachers working under SSA”, the official said that the amount approved by the government of India this year was meant to be spent on the salary of teachers working “both under SSA and RMSA”.
“Last year, there was a separate fund approval for the salary component of teachers working under RMSA scheme,” he claimed.
Calling it a “precarious situation”, the official said that there was a shortfall of over Rs 1,500 crore-roughly half of the amount required for the teachers’ salary for the current financial.
“Where would we get the amount from? They have made almost 50 percent reduction (this year),” rued the official.
The meager GoI funding for their salary component coupled with the state government’s denial of 7th pay commission benefits, the official called it a “double whammy” on the teachers.
Although a “supplementary” PAB was held for additional required funds, the official said that they were yet to receive the approvals with even the minutes of the June 20 PAB meeting still awaiting.
A top official feared that the scanty funding is likely to hit the ReTs’ normal monthly salary.
“A teacher who usually gets Rs 25,000 salary will get only Rs 15,000 this year. Those who used to get Rs 30,000 will be getting only Rs 15, 000,” said the official.
Ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha, the official said that the teachers would be paid the salary of two months.
“Then we will see what to do with the rest,” he added.
State Project Director, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, JK, Tufail Matoo hoped that the shortage in the salary component of the teachers would be resolved by the governor N N Vohra led state government.
As their salary is delayed for months altogether, over 41, 000 ReTs recruited under the SSA have been of late demanding that their salary be delinked from the MHRD.
Being the state’s own employees, the ReTs argue that the state government should pay them under its own budget.
Meanwhile, in a meeting between Administrative Secretary School Education Department, Rigzin Samphel and Chairman JKRET Forum, Farooq Ahmad Tantray, the former has assured the ReTs that their demands would be addressed “on priority”, a source said.