Taking note of reports that Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers in Punjab have not been paid salaries for the past six months, the Punjab and high court has asked the Centre to file a reply by March 24 over non-disbursal of funds to the state government under the scheme.
Blaming the Centre for delay in release of salaries to teachers, Punjab additional advocate general Kamal Sehgal told the court that the state was yet to receive the Centre’s share of Rs 365 crore under the SSA. Of the total budget of Rs 1,059.24 crore for the SSA in 2016-17, the Centre’s share is Rs 635.55 crore and the state’s Rs 423.69 crore.
The state government told the court that the Centre had given only Rs 270 crore as the first instalment, of which Rs 263.45 crore has been released for salary. The state has released Rs 175.64 crore from its own share, the court was informed.
The high court also had asked the state to supply details of salaries or any other amount payable to the serving or retired employees or others workers of the local bodies department under various schemes. The direction came during a resumed hearing of a contempt petition filed by retired employees of the urban local bodies department who have alleged non-compliance of court orders of clearing their dues.
The state said that up to 2015-16, Rs 103.70 crore was payable to the urban local bodies department — after adjusting loan amount of Rs 83.89 crore — of its share of excise duty and money generated from auction of liquor vends.
Of Rs 103.70 crore, Rs 40 crore would be paid up to March 31, which may be used for paying dues of the retirees. As state local bodies are facing financial crunch, the government is re-considering recovery of loan from these, additional advocate general told the court.
The court also directed the state government to supply details of amount to be paid to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on account of subsidy payable for reduced tariff for agricultural supply in Punjab.