India’s education minister has called on the state government in the northeast to stop funding education funds for students, saying they could lead to students losing jobs and causing a shortage of education resources.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Rainsh Goyasamma also urged state government not to pay out state education funds to students, but to ensure that students are not deprived of basic needs such as housing.

He said that while the government may have taken a tough stance against students protesting against the allocation of funds to their schools, they are also responsible for the way the funding has been used.

“It is important that we stop paying the money out and we should make sure that students do not get deprived of the basic needs,” he said.

“They should be able to get a basic income to feed themselves and their families, and not be denied access to education,” he added.

India is the world’s second-largest consumer of education, after China.

The state of Uttar Pradesh, which holds a majority in the northeastern state of Bihar, has been grappling with the shortage of basic commodities such as wheat and rice for years, with farmers demanding better salaries and better food rations.

Last month, the central government asked the state to make a decision by April 1 whether it would be willing to reimburse students of their education expenses for the cost of tuition.

The central government is currently in talks with the state, which has been demanding a compensation of around Rs 30,000 for students of government schools, which was allegedly given to them at inflated rates.