Tripura: Cabinet announces 5 per cent DA for state govt employees ahead of 2023 Assembly polls

The Manik Saha-led cabinet Tuesday announced that state government employees in Tripura will get 5 per cent Dearness Allowance (DA) with retrospective effect from July 1 this year.

Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat Tuesday evening, Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs (ICA) minister Sushanta Chowdhury said the decision would lead to an additional annual expenditure of Rs 523.80 crore for the state government.

Notably, fixed pay employees apart from regular ones will also be benefited from the decision. Pensioners, too, will receive Dearness Relief to the tune of 5 per cent.

“It’s a bold decision to bring parity for state government employees who are working hard in implementing government schemes,” Chowdhury said.

However, even after Tuesday’s decision, there would still be a 25 per cent DA gap between state government employees and their Central government counterparts.

“The aim of the state government is to mitigate this gap at the earliest. The finance department, finance minister and the chief minister took this step despite the fund crunch our government is facing and in view of the post-Covid situation,” the ICA minister said.

The BJP-led government said it inherited a debt of Rs 14,000 crore when it took over the reins of the state from the erstwhile Left Front government in 2018. The ICA minister said Tripura was yet to fully recover from the debt.

“We are trying to overcome the fund crunch. The Centre is generously helping us. We are in the process of recovery,” he said.

Chowdhury said some more DA might be released before the 2023 assembly elections but refused to share any further details.

Talking about other decisions taken during the cabinet meeting Tuesday, the minister said the state PWD department will induct 200 junior engineers with 100 engineers each in TES Grade-VA and Grade-VB categories from civil, mechanical and electrical engineering streams.

Moreover, the cabinet has decided to recruit 100 staff nurses, 22 pharmacists (homeopathy), 25 pharmacists (ayurvedic), 39 blood bank laboratory technicians, and 90 multi-purpose supervisors (both male and female) on fixed pay basis under the health and family welfare department, Chowdhury said.

“The state government feels nurses have a major role in strengthening healthcare infrastructure,” the ICA minister said, adding that 12 clerical posts have been created under the audit directorate in the finance department.

The cabinet also decided that soya chunks will be distributed among poor families under the Public Distribution System (PDS). Each family will receive a 200 gram soya chunk pack every month, the minister said. The move is likely to be implemented before the Durga Puja festivities this year.

Sixteen posts of assistant director, senior information officer and reporters have been created under the ICA department. Further, four posts of assistant professor have been created at the state-run Regional Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology (RIPSAT) in Agartala, Chowdhury said.

On the agriculture front, the government has decided to bring 20,000 hectare under paddy cultivation under its integrated crop management scheme and Mukhyamantri Krishak Samriddhi Udyog.

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