The Tripura government on Tuesday announced higher pay scales and allowances for its 2.45 lakh employees and pensioners in a bid to pacify those seeking central government pay scales. Elections are due in the state in February 2018.
"Despite its severe financial crisis, the government has decided to raise the minimum pay by 19.68 per cent as compared to 14.2 per cent increase by the central government for its employees," Finance Minister Bhanulal Saha told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
"To implement the higher pay scales and allowances with effect from April 1, Rs 1,282 crore would be incurred annually. We will have to set aside over 42 per cent of the total budget to provide pay, allowances and pension to the employees."
Accompanied by Principal Secretary (Finance) M. Nagaraju, the minister said that after the increase, the minimum initial pay-scale would be Rs 14,040 instead of existing Rs 6,240.
Also, 24 other allowances including house rent had been increased.
Responding to the demands of the ruling and opposition party-affiliated employees' bodies as well as political parties, the government in April set up a committee to recommend increase in salaries and pensions for its employees and pensioners.
"The committee headed by former Chief Secretary G.K. Rao submitted its report within 56 days. The Council of Ministers headed by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today (Tuesday) accepted the recommendations," the Finance Minister said.
Saha said the government had decided to introduce three new allowances and retained 24 existing ones.
The new allowances include disability allowances for physically challenged employees, child care allowance for otherwise abled employees and for employees having differently abled child, and training allowance for police personnel and agriculture staff.
He said the government had also decided to observe holidays in government and autonomous bodies' offices on the second and fourth Saturdays.
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