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Bihar Cabinet doubles honorarium of top panchayat representatives ahead of polls

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Patna, Jan 8 (PTI) The Bihar cabinet on Monday doubled the monthly honorarium of top panchayat representatives and substantially increased the stipend paid to Anganwadi workers ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

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Besides, the cabinet approved creation of a separate sports department to support athletes and approved a new information technology policy to make the IT sector in the state more lucrative for investors.

"The cabinet has approved a substantial increase in the monthly honorarium of panchayat representatives and stipend paid to Anganwadi workers (Sevikas and Sahaayikas) in the state," Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) S Siddharth told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

Mukhiyas will now get a monthly honorarium of Rs 5000 instead of the current Rs 2500, while that for their deputies was raised to Rs 2500 from Rs 1200, said Siddharth, the ACS of Cabinet Secretariat.

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"Similarly, sarpanchs and deputy sarpanchs will now get Rs 5000 per month and Rs 2,500 per month respectively," he said.

They used to get Rs 2500 and Rs 1200 per month respectively.

"This is a 100 per cent hike in the honorarium of these panchayat representatives. This decision will benefit a large number of (more than 2.50 lakh) panchayat representatives in the state," he said.

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Besides, the monthly honorarium of ward members has also been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 800, said the ACS.

There will be an additional burden of Rs 339 crore annually on the state exchequer, he added.

The cabinet also approved a hike in the monthly stipend paid to around 2.30 lakh Anganwadi workers (Sevikas and Sahaayikas) in the state.

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"Now, Sevikas will get Rs 7000 monthly stipend and Sahaayikas Rs 4000 per month. This will put Rs 286 crore of additional burden on the state exchequer," the officer said.

Sevikas and Sahaayikas used to get Rs 5,950 and Rs 2975 per month respectively.

The Lok Sabha elections are due within a few months in the country.

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"The cabinet also approved creation of a separate sports department to boost the state's sports infrastructure and support athletes in their endeavour to win medals. As of now, the sports wing is part of the art, culture and youth affairs department. All sports universities in the state will function under this department," said Siddharth.

Besides, the cabinet approved the new Information Technology (IT) policy 2024 to make the IT sector in the state more lucrative for investors.

"To develop Bihar as the next IT hub and IT investment destination in the country, the cabinet has approved the new IT policy," he said. PTI PKD NN

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