Bihar to disburse r₹r72-cr to clear backlog payment of old PRI representatives

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Bihar to disburse r₹r72-cr to clear backlog payment of old PRI representatives
© Provided by Hindustan Times Bihar panchayati raj minister Samrat Choudhary (HT Archives)

PATNA: Bihar’s panchayati raj department is planning to ensure online monthly emolument payment to panchayati raj representatives directly from the department from the new fiscal to reduce procedural and auditing delays and has issued directives to officials to clear all backlog payments to old representatives within one month.

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Bihar panchayati raj minister Samrat Choudhary on Sunday said that a fund of 72.32-crore has been made available to the department for payment of fixed emolument to elected representatives in the third-tier panchayati raj system involving district board chairman, vice chairman, panchayat samiti pramukh/up-pramukh/members, panchayat Mukhia/up-mukhia/member and gram kachahari sarpanch/up-sarpanch/panch.

“There is a backlog of 7-8 months and I have asked the officials to clear the payment of old representatives, who were in office till December 15, 2021 within a month through centralised fund management system (CFMS). Last year, we had disbursed 83-crore to the representatives. Now we have got the second installment. From the next fiscal, we will further strengthen the system,” he added.

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Choudhary said that there is usually a delay in payment due to fund allotment hold-ups, but it gets further delayed due to procedural issues at the level of deputy development commissioners and block development officers. “Now the effort is to streamline the system and hopefully the department will directly disburse emoluments through CFMS from the new fiscal,” he added.

Of the 72.32 crore, 32 crore would go towards payment to mukhia/up- mukhia/ ward members. Bihar government gives fixed monthly emolument of 12,000 to district board chairman, 10,000 each to vice-chairman and pramukh and 5,000 to up-pramukh. The district board member, mukhia, and sarpanch get 2,500 each, up-mukhia 1,200 and panchayat samiti member gets 1,000. Ward members and panch get 500 each.

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“From the new fiscal the government wants to bring in a lot of changes to transform rural governance with greater accountability and for that efforts are on to develop a proper ecosystem for transparency so that the benefits reach the people in desired measure and quality of work is regularly monitored. People should get the facilities in the panchayats itself,” he said, adding the elected woman representatives would no more be allowed to participate in any meeting through their representatives, as it happened before.

“The woman representatives would have to themselves participate in the meetings, as they are only authorised for that. We receive complaints of representatives (husband or family member) of woman elected representatives attending the meeting. The officials have been directed to ensure participation of woman representatives in the meetings,” he further added.

Bihar has 8,387 panchayats and 38 district boards. The panchayat elections were completed in December 2021. The new representatives have already taken the oath.

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