CM Ready To Trade Post Rather Than Capitulate To COTA’s Demand, Teachers’ Demand Will Affect Public Welfare: Ibobi

IMPHAL, Feb 17: It would be better to give up the post of Chief Minister if the demand for implementation of the 6th Pay Commission’s recommendations in toto persists, declared Chief Minister Okram Ibobi today.

Speaking to some media persons today, Ibobi who is also in charge of Finance Department, stated that the Government has no objection to the demand to implement the 6th Pay in toto but the only problem is lack of money.

Reminding that the Government has negotiated with the agitating teachers two/three times, Ibobi conveyed that the teachers were explained explicitly about the State Government’s inability to implement the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay in toto as the State has limited revenue-generating resources.

The State Government would face immense difficulties if the teachers’ demands are fulfilled because teachers appointed under District Councils, police and other employees getting salaries in the pay scales of primary teachers would also follow suit and raise the same demand.

Implementation of the 6th Central Revised Pay for all these employees would mean extra expenditure of Rs 5 crores per month or Rs 60 crores annually.

This extra expenditure would be accounted as non-plan expenditure for the State has very limited   resources.

Under these circumstances, the State Government is not in a position to implement 6th Pay in toto even though the Government would like to fulfill the teachers’ demand very much.

Consequent upon appointment of a large number of teachers and payment of added salaries, the State Government is incurring a debt of Rs 700 crores from non-plan head, the Chief Minister disclosed.

But when the State Government lobbied with the Planning Commission for increasing the non-plan amount which is the head for non-plan expenditures like salaries, the question of State’s resources came up unfailingly.

This often resulted in embarrassing situation as the State has very limited resources of its own, Ibobi conveyed.

Informing that he would be leaving for Delhi on February 21 to finalize the State’s plan size for 2011-12,  the Chief Minister said that he would insist on fixing the State’s plan size around Rs 4000 crores.

“But I’m sure I would be facing a hard time when they (Planning Commission) enquire about State’s resources for non-plan expenditures”, Ibobi stated.

To the State Government’s repeated proposals for incorporating extra fund for salaries, the Planning Commission responded that the State Government should manage the required extra amount from the State’s own resources.

Despite all these unfavorable conditions, the State Government has not been completely ignoring the concerns of teachers.

Acting on their demand, the age of superannuation for teachers has been increased to 60 from 58 years.

Primary teachers are categorized into trained and untrained teachers. Basic pay entitled to untrained teachers is Rs 4000-6000 whereas trained teachers are entitled to basic pay of Rs 4500-7000.

The Chief Minister offered basic pay of Rs 4500-7000 to all Primary teachers whether one is trained or untrained.

Further stating that Government is ready to pay DAs and arrears of all teachers, Ibobi explained that the amount of salary being promised by the State Government to Primary teachers is around Rs 17,000 to Rs 18,000 per month per teacher.

On being enquired about the State Government’s response to the twin agitation by teachers and students, the Chief Minister expressed strong apprehension that the State would face a serious financial crisis if the teachers’ demand must be fulfilled.

If the teachers insist on their demand, it would be better to give up the post of Chief Minister in view of the likely financial woes the State would be facing in future, Ibobi stated.

Talking about the condition of schools, Ibobi observed that most of the schools located in Imphal area have very few students except some schools TG, CC and Johnstone School.

“In my own constituency of Thoubal, there are schools which have 15/16 teachers as against five or six teachers”, Chief Minister Ibobi added.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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