Tripura to constitute pay review panel
Agartala: The Tripura government has decided to constitute a pay review committee to look into hike in pay and allowances in the wake of implementation of the seventh Central Pay Commission’s recommendations.
Though no formal notification has been made in this regard, highly placed sources in the state administration said finance commissioner G.S.G. Ayyangar would head the committee, which will also have two other senior IAS officers as its members.
After the sixth Central Pay Commission’s recommendations were implemented, the state government had similarly formed a pay review committee headed by bureaucrats instead of a pay commission that enjoys autonomy and does not act under any political authority.
The earlier pay review committee’s recommendations had led to serious deprivation of employees and pensioners in Tripura in all regards. Even now the state government owes the employees and pensioners 46 per cent of dearness allowance (DA).
Earlier, in a cabinet meeting, Ayyangar had explained to the ministers that giving the employees a hike as per recommendations of the seventh Central Pay Commission would not be a problem and it was needed to improve work culture.
The cabinet had agreed in principle but subsequently it developed cold feet and decided on the pay review committee. In fact, a press note was issued to formally deny the cabinet’s earlier consent in principle to replicate the seventh Central Pay Commission’s recommendations.
The decision to constitute a fresh pay review committee has, therefore, come in for sharp criticism with former leader of the Opposition and sitting Congress MLA Ratanlal Nath describing it as the “most brazen attempt to perpetuate the deprivation of employees and pensioner”.
“A pay commission, once constituted, enjoys considerable autonomy and is not bound by the dictates of the political authority but a pay review committee comprising malleable bureaucrats is always obliging. It will always function as a second fiddle to the CPM and its ministers,” said Nath.
Citing budget data and reports compiled and submitted by the CAG, Nath said for over three financial years, between 2012-13 and 2014-15, the state government had kept over Rs 1,400 crore unspent on salaries, allowances and pensions of the employees.
“This evil practice has been going on ever since Manik Sarkar became the chief minister. During the past 18 years of his incumbency as chief minister, the employees and pensioners of Tripura have become the lowest paid and worst deprived in the country. If this continues there will be a revolt,” Nath said.
Samar Roy, leader of the pro-Congress Karmachari Federation, said the Left Front government had reduced the employees and pensioners of Tripura to the worst position in the country.
“Our officers and trainees who go to other states in connection with official work do not get proper facilities as their entitlement depends on the grade pay they receive. Since this is the worst in the country the officers and employees of Tripura are objects of ridicule in other Indian states,” said Roy.
He said at least 23 states have decided to replicate the central pay, allowances and pension for serving and retired employees as per recommendations of the seventh Central Pay Commission.
Roy said they would wait and watch for sometime and then start an agitation to press for the legitimate demands of the employees.