The education ministry recently demanded approximately Tk 2,400 crore for the payment of retirement benefits to about 75,000 teachers and employees of non-government secondary schools, colleges and madrasas, mostly pending for five years.
The education minister Nurul Islam Nahid requested for the money in a letter he wrote to finance minister AMA Muhith earlier this month.
In the letter, Nahid said that the Teachers Employees Retirement Benefit Board needed Tk 1,811 crore to pay the retirement benefits of teachers and employees and the rest was needed by their Welfare Trust for the same purpose.
He said that until October the board was unable to pay the retirement benefits of 43,754 applicants.
The Welfare Trust also could not settle the claims of 27,000 retired teachers and employees until last month, he said.
The number of retired teachers and employees rose to 70,000 from 48,100 in October 2014.
Nahid said that both the contributory retirement benefit programmes would face closure unless the money was provided.
The board receives around Tk 16-17 crore each month from the teachers and employees with four per cent of basic pay as their contribution.
The board has to contribute same amount and it needs Tk 56-58 crore a month to settle the post retirement claims.
The Teacher Employee Retirement Benefit Board was founded by the government in 2005 with the education secretary as its ex-officio chairman.
The government provided around Tk 80 crore to the board at its inception and money was deposited in banks. The interest derived is used to run the board’s office.
The Welfare Trust was established in 1990, for which no money was provided by the government.
The trust receives Tk 8-8.5 crore as teachers’ contribution at two per cent of basic pay.
The trust is required to make an equal contribution to settle the claims of teachers on retirement.
Rahman Jahangir, who retired as teacher of Natore Dakhil Madrasa, Natore, said he was yet to get his retirement benefits though he applied for it over four years ago.
He said he was unable to meet r his treatment costs.
Officials said, Muhith gave a cold shoulder to the education minister saying the financial burden was unaffordable.
He asked finance ministry officials to re-examine and overhaul the retirement benefit schemes for the teachers with the education ministry officials.
There are allegations that only a handful among the retired teachers got the benefits if they can satisfy education ministry officials or manage the blessings of ministers or the ruling party MPs.
Immediate past Teacher Employee Retirement Benefit Board member-secretary denied the allegations of irregularities.
Welfare Trust deputy director Abul Bashar also denied the allegations.
They said critically ill retired teachers and the families of the dead received the payments on priority amid fund shortage.
They said a retired teacher gets between Tk one lakh and Tk six lakh.