By Our Reporter | Shillong, Sept 05, 2018:
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that the State Government is facing an uphill task to mobilize additional funds for payment of the salaries of the SSA teachers in the State.
“The State Government would need an additional fund of over Rs 100 crore since the Centre had decided to cap the salaries of the SSA teachers during the current year,” Sangma said while speaking to media persons here today.
Informing that the State Government has fixed two different slabs for the salaries of the SSA teachers, he said that the first category of teachers are getting a salaries of Rs 19,000 monthly while the second category of teachers are getting a monthly salary of Rs 15,000.
He said that there are States who are paying salaries of Rs 28,000 and even Rs 30,000 to the SSA teachers.
Stating that since the Centre cannot give different amounts for the salaries of the SSA teachers to different States, Chief Minister said that they have decided to cap the entire amount at Rs 15,000 for every teacher throughout the country from this current year.
“The remaining amount will have to be borne by the respective State Governments. Therefore, we need to carry out a lot of exercise with the Finance department and Revenue generating departments to mobilize the additional funds for payment of the salaries of the teachers,” Sangma said.
He said that majority of the State Governments were not happy with the decision of the Centre to cap the salaries of the SSA teachers.
“In the past four months, the State Government has been negotiating and discussing with the Centre for the benefit of the SSA teachers in the State. But we had to finally agree to few of the terms and conditions that had been laid down by the Government since there were a lot of pressure from teachers to release their salaries,” Chief Minister said.
He said that they are in a critical juncture where there will be huge impact on the State budget due to the sudden decrease in the earmarking of funds by the Centre.
“We will have to find out a solution on how to be able to mobilize additional resources to meet the gap in the funds following the decision of the Centre. It is going to be quite a challenge for the state Government to fill up the gap in the funds,” Chief Minister said.
Asserting that the Government is committed to ensure that the teachers are not affected by this decision of the Centre, he, however, admitted that the Government is facing an uphill task since there are around 13,000 SSA teachers in the State
“We are just waiting for the Union Ministry of Finance to release the funds. We would like to resolve the situation at the earliest,” Sangma said.