Will Bihar’s poll bonanza break the state?

Nitish Kumar okays increasing retirement age of doctors and salary hike for the teachers

| July 31, 2015


#bihar   #nitish kumar   #teachers   #narendra modi  

Bihar may have had the luxury of revenue surplus budget of Rs 11,980 crore, but the way Nitish Kumar is dishing out bonanza after bonanza to various sectors of the poll-bound state, the new government may inherit a broke Bihar.

Even the budget present early this year had come under the shadow of election year. Bihar will have assembly polls anytime in next three to four months. With Narendra Modi’s government at his doorstep, Nitish is resorting to all populist measures.

 The state cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to increase the doctors' age of superannuation from 65 to 67 years. The cabinet also approved the grant of pay scale to fixed-pay trained and untrained contract teachers, along with librarians, with effect from this month itself.

The total burden would be Rs 2,948 crore for the state that still lacks infrastructure. A total of 4.05 lakh employees will benefit from the move.

The decision on pay-scale will benefit over four lakh primary, secondary and higher secondary teachers and over 1,000 librarians appointed in phases on fixed-pay since 2006 to improve the adverse teacher: pupil ratio in Bihar.

"All contract teachers, including trained primary, secondary and higher secondary teachers, besides librarians, appointed by panchayati raj institutions will be entitled to the pay scale of Rs 5200-20200 from July 1, 2015," said Shishir Sinha, principal secretary, cabinet co-ordination department.

The government decision to raise retirement age of doctors is likely to benefit around 5200 doctors.

The government decided to raise the superannuation age in order to tide over the scarcity of doctors in state health facilities.

Nitish Kumar, whose anathema for the Modi government is well-known, went against centre's regulation on doctors. Bihar is going have doctors, who cross the age of 65 years, entitled to full administrative powers and hold positions as heads of department, principal, superintendent, etc.

The Bihar State Health Service Association (BSHSA), which had been rallying behind its demand since last December, however, seemed to have lost some interest in it after the government dithered on the decision beyond June 30.

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