SSA body urges CM to release pending arrears

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya SSA School Association, Central Body (MSSASA-CB) has petitioned the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for release of additional funds from state budget for payment of arrears during the financial year 2016-17 for SSA school teachers.
In a letter addressed to the chief minister, the SSA body said that the RTI reply received from Sushil Bhushan, Under Secretary to the Government of India, MHRD refers to the agenda to clear the liability towards payment of arrear salary of lower primary and upper primary teachers working under SSA during the financial year 2016-17 in Meghalaya.
The central official had informed that SSA was operational since 2000-2001 and now subsumed under the scheme ‘Samagra Shiksha’ which is a centrally sponsored scheme of the Government of India and is being implemented in partnership with the state governments throughout the country.
It was also informed that since its inception, the programme was conceived as additional support to the states/UTs to achieve universal elementary education in the country and it has clearly illustrated in the framework and manual of SSA and Samagra Shiksha that the fund released by the Centre for the scheme will not substitute state funding for elementary education.
The section 7(1) of RTE Act, 2009 provides that “The Central and State Government shall have the concurrent responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of the RTE Act”.
Further, as per Section 7(5) of RTE Act, the state government shall, taking into consideration the sums provided by the central government to a state government under sub-section (3), and its other resources, be responsible to provide funds for implementation of provisions of this Act.
The RTE Act does not prescribe the percentage share of grant-in-aid of the central government.
The SSA body said the letter received by the association from A Ch. Marak, state project director, SEMAM, SSA on September 11 clearly mentions that arrear salary could not be paid to SSA teachers due to non-receipt of fund from the government.
The state project director, SEMAM also stated in his letter that the secretary to the government of India, MHRD in his letter on February 13 informed that the state government is to release adequate funds from its own resources including the funds devolved under the 14th Finance Commission for implementation of scheme activities including teachers’ salary.
According to the SSA teachers, it is clear that it is the responsibility of the state government to clear the liability towards payment of arrear salary of SSA teachers.
In this regard, the SSA body urged the chief minister to release the arrears by October 31.

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