Grants to about 1400-1500 government aided schools in Bihar are held up for years now.(HT Photo/Representational)
Grants to about 1400-1500 government aided schools in Bihar are held up for years now.(HT Photo/Representational)

Bihar: Grants to govt aided schools to be released soon, says minister

  • Leaders cutting across the party lines lashed out at the BSEB claiming it put up stumbling blocks unnecessarily in payment of grants to the schools
By Subash Pathak
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 08:45 AM IST

Bihar education minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary on Monday said assistance grant to the government aided secondary and higher secondary schools would not be denied in the name of formalities. The assistance grant is given by the government for payment of salary to teaching and non-teaching staff.

“The officers, who would try to linger the process of award of the grant to deserving schools, would be taken to task,” said Chaudhary in response to a call attention motion moved by Congress MLC Madan Mohan Jha in the legislative council.

Raising the issue, Jha stated that grants to about 1400-1500 government aided schools, including those upgraded to intermediate levels, had been held up since 2016 by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) on one pretext or the other. “The state government had allocated 630 crore on account of payment of arrears to various schools last year. However, in the absence of payment to the concerned schools, the government took back 500 crore from the BSEB to manage corona-induced crisis,” said Jha, also the state Congress president.

Chaudhary said that assistance grant of 842 crore would be released to the BSEB for its disbursement among the schools, which fulfil the laid down criteria, within a month. “The department will also see that the BESB did not stop payment to the schools without strong valid reasons,” said the minister.

Leaders cutting across the party lines lashed out at the BSEB claiming it put up stumbling blocks unnecessarily in payment of grants to the schools. Sanjeev Singh of the Janata Dal United (JD-U) alleged that the BESB declined the payments to the schools, even though the rules for award of grants have been considerably simplified in 2013.

Nawal Kishore Yadav of the BJP and Kedarnath Pandey of the CPI claimed that the amount had been kept up by the BSEB despite the inquiries. Sanjeev Singh claimed that as per the government circular issued in 2013, no inspection is required for payment of grants to the schools, which were found eligible for recognition by the government.

The minister assured that the arrear payments to schools will be cleared after approval by the state cabinet soon.

Honorarium for Panchayat functionaries

Panchayati raj department minister Samrat Chaudhary on Monday informed the legislative council that a sum of 577 crore was released to clear the arrears in honourarium to elected representatives of gram panchayats and gram kutcheries till the current fiscal of 2020-21. “The payment would be ensured to the elected representatives by the end of this month or before the expiry of their current tenure,” added the minister.

Earlier, raising the issue, BPCC chief Madan Mohan Jha claimed that monthly honorariums to panchayat leaders had not been paid since March 2020. The panchayat elections are due to be held in May-June this year.

The minister said that an estimated expense of 228.91 crore was likely to be incurred by the department on account of payment of honorarium to elected representatives of panchayats and gram kutcheries for the year 2019-20, while a sum of 227.48 crore would be spent to clear payments for the current fiscal.

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