The Cabinet on Thursday decided to implement the revised UGC scales of pay for college teachers with retrospective effect from 2006.

Briefing the media, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said that teachers would receive the revised salaries from April (salary for March).

The Chief Minister said the exchequer would have to bear an additional burden of Rs.400 crore for implementing the scales. The Central government would provide 80 per cent of the funds needed for paying arrears from January 1, 2006 to February 28, 2010.

Mr. Achuthanandan announced that the Cabinet had also approved the welfare fund scheme for Madrassa teachers on the basis of the recommendations of the Paloli committee. Teachers with more than five years of membership in the scheme would be eligible for pension at the rate of Rs.500 a month.

The scheme, he said, was being implemented with the cooperation of the Postal Department and the Kozhikode District Cooperative Bank. The government would release Rs.6 crore as reserve fund from the budgeted amount of Rs.10 crore for the scheme.

The Chief Minister said that space-based support would be provided for decentralised planning in the State. The government would sign a memorandum of understanding with the National Remote Sensing Agency for this. The State Remote Sensing and Environment Centre would be the agency implementing the scheme.

About 100 acres at Cheemeni in Kasaragod district would be handed over to the Information Technology Department for setting up an Information Technology Park.

Five acres belonging to the defunct unit of the State Coconut Development Corporation at Mamom near Attingal would be handed over to Kerafed for setting up a factory for processing coconut logs. The project would be funded by the Coconut Development Board.

The Kerala State Open School, now functioning under the State Educational Research and Training Centre, would be converted into an autonomous institution. The new institution would be named State Council for Open and Lifelong Education, Kerala.

Mr. Achuthanandan also announced that the permanent employees of the Headload Workers Welfare Fund would get pension on a par with State government employees under the Kerala Service Rules as per another decision of the Cabinet.

It had sanctioned 11 posts including that of a deputy director each at the Directorate of Information and Public Relations here and the Information Office in Delhi as part of modernisation of the Department.

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