The Bihar government on Thursday released a sum of Rs 212.77 crore for payment of fees to civil servants, teachers and employees involved in caste survey work, officials aware of the matter said.
The fund was released to all districts through real-time gross settlement (RTGS). Patna has the maximum of 11.49 crore, followed by Muzaffarpur (10.16 crore), Motihari (9.57 crore) and Gaya (9.30 crore). Arwal, the smallest district, has 1.59 crore.
While releasing the funds, the government said the payment should be made as arranged.
“The release of funds should not be understood as an approval of expenses. The payment should be made after a thorough examination and in accordance with the provisions contained in the Bihar Budget Rules, the budget manual and the relevant financial regulations,” reads the letter from Rajnish Kumar, deputy secretary of the government, to all the district magistrates.
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The school’s teachers, posted mainly for caste research work, had expressed resentment over the delay in payment despite having completed their work a month ago.
The first round of the caste survey was conducted between January 7 and 21. The second round began on April 15 and was scheduled to continue till May 15, but was suspended following a high court order. It started again on August 1 after the high court’s nod.
On August 1, the Patna High Court dismissed writ petitions against the caste survey initiated by the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance (GA) government, allowing it to carry out the exercise, which the CM has presented as “essential and imperative to advance the cause of social justice.”
The matter was again challenged before the Supreme Court, where the verdict is awaited. However, the apex court refused to stay the apex court’s order, stating that it cannot restrain it from publishing the cumulative findings of the exercise unless there is a “prima facie case showing violation of any constitutional right or lack of jurisdiction.” .
Finally, on Monday (October 2), the Bihar government released the caste survey data.
The survey found that Extremely Backward Classes (EBC) comprise 36.01% of the population, Backward Classes 27.12%, Upper Castes 15.52%, Scheduled Castes 19.65% and Tribes recognized 1.68%. Among the backward classes, the Yadavs constitute 14.26% of the population, while the Kushwaha and Kurmi are 4.27% and 2.87%.
The Bihar cabinet had estimated an expenditure of Rs 500 crore for conducting a caste survey, which would be met from the contingency fund.
The caste survey data has sparked accusations from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party of rigging to show “less strength” of some castes and “greater” strength of others to suit political interests and an incomplete exercise that left many people out of the count. .