Education gets a major share, but provision for employment generation is missing

The focus of the Bihar Budget 2023-24 once again revolves around the Nitish Kumar government’s “seven resolutions”, Jeevika and the Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali programme, which includes several departments, although the bulk of the estimated expenditure will once again be on education. goes to the. ,

People watching the state budget at a shop in Patna on Tuesday.  (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
People watching the state budget at a shop in Patna on Tuesday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

Combined budget estimates for education, sports, art and culture for the financial year 2023-24 42,381.08 crore, which is 16.18% of the total outlay, but is lower than the revised estimate for 2022-23, which was 55,110.76 crore (19.30%).

In the education sector, the government has announced the recruitment of 48,762 primary teachers, 5,886 physical education instructors, 40,506 head teachers, 44,193 teachers in secondary schools, 89,734 teachers in higher secondary schools and 7,360 computer teachers. The government will also fill the posts of over 6,000 headmasters in upgraded higher secondary schools.

The government plans to appoint 3021 teachers in engineering colleges and polytechnics, out of which 522 have been appointed, while 217 new posts have been created to run new courses.

health sector

Similarly the budget estimates for health and family welfare sector are 16,703.83 crore (6.38%), which is lower than the revised estimate of 20182.75 crore (7.07%) for the financial year 2022-23.

The government is also moving towards regular appointment of 10,550 auxiliary nurses and midwives (ANMs) in the health sector. Provision has also been made in the budget Rs 800 crore for promotion of self-employment under entrepreneurship schemes for SC/ST, women, EBC and youth. Beneficiaries get under this 5 lakh subsidy and an additional 5 lakh loan.

Although the government’s emphasis has been on job creation in the year leading up to the 2024 parliamentary elections, there has been just 17.7% growth under the establishment and expenditure head. Experts say that even in normal cases, the impact of regular increments, inflation and inflation is attributed to the 10 per cent hike and the government may have to allocate more resources for large-scale recruitment.

Economist Professor NK Chowdhary said there is nothing new in the budget as compared to previous years and it lacks courage and vision. “The size of the budget has increased by about 10 per cent while inflation is over six per cent. It’s not really an increase. To give hope, the priorities of expenditure also do not seem to be changing. More than two lakh new appointments have been announced, but there is neither a time frame nor a corresponding budgetary provision. To sum it up, it lacks clarity and the old ways continue,” he said.

Fulfilling its promise of job creation, the government has announced a large number of vacancies in various sectors. This includes creation of 75,453 posts in police for direct recruitment besides 63,900 jobs through Bihar Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and Technical Service Commission.

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