Despite paucity of funds, Tripura cabinet clears 5 pc DA, DR hike

Agartala: In what appears to be a strategic step, Tripura council of ministers on Tuesday cleared a 5 percent DA (Dearness Allowance) hike for government employees serving at different levels and Dearness Relief for all the pensioners in similar proportion. The development came after the state cabinet’s meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manik Saha that continued till late evening. 

Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that the government is standing solid beside the people serving it while braving all difficulties. 

“Today the state government declared DA of 5 percent for the different categories of government employees. The government has come forward for the benefit of the government employees even in these difficult times. We will always try to give them benefits as much as we can taking into consideration different factors,” he said. 

Information and cultural affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, who also holds the charge of Cabinet spokesman, said, “The Finance Minister and Chief Minister of the state have taken a bold step despite the fact the government is undergoing serious fund crunch and still to recover fully from the adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy front.”

The minister, however, refused to divulge anything further on the debt profiles of the state, saying: “We are recovering very fast.”

To a query, the minister said, “The central government employees are now receiving 34 percent of DA. Still there is a big gap, but the government is working to minimize the gap as fast as possible.”

It is worthy to be mentioned here that after the BJP-IPFT combine came to power, 3 percent DA was announced. With the new 5 percent the total figure stands at 8 percent. The minister said, “I am not giving any assurance but chances are very high that another hike will be announced at the end of this year.”

According to Chowdhury, the hike in DA will come into effect from July 01, 2022. This will put an extra burden of Rs 523 crore on the state’s exchequer but the benefits will be reaped by over one lakh government employees and around 80,000 pensioners of different state departments.

Apart from that, the minister also informed the media persons that the state council of ministers has given approval to the Integrated Crop Management Scheme under which 20,000 hectares of additional land will be brought under farming. 

“We are rainfall deficient this year, which harshly impacted the seasonal harvest. Given the present scenario, it has been decided that 20 thousand hectares of land will be transformed into cultivable land,” he said.

Apart from that, the state government has also approved filling up of posts in different departments. 

Meanwhile, several employees’ bodies have welcomed the decision and hoped that the difference of DA between employees of central and state governments will be reduced further. 

Senior employees’ union leader Samar Roy welcomed the state government’s declaration of DA hike and hoped that in the days to come the employees would receive more benefits from the end of state governments.

“The state government earlier also increased the fitment factor to 2.57 percent from 2.25, which came as a big relief for us. Today, a five percent hike in DA is also a big decision. We welcome both the steps but at the same time want to make an appeal to consider hiking the DA to at least 15 percent,” he said.

Roy also said that the Chief Minister had assured them that after Durga Puja a similar development may come up. 

Also read | Tripura to seek Centre’s intervention to operationalise Indo-Bangla railway

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