With less than a year left for the state assembly elections, 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 Northeast state in February 2018.

“Despite the 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,” state 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,” the minister added.

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 GK Rao submitted its report within 56 days. The state cabinet headed by chief minister Manik Sarkar today (Tuesday) accepted the recommendations,” the finance minister said.

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