On 31st March, the Tripura state Cabinet decided to implement the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC)forstate govt. employees with effect from 1 April 2015. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar made this announcement soon after the Cabinet meeting.

Manik Sarkar explained that so far the State govt. had not been able to extend the benefits of the 6th CPC to the state employees due to financial constraints arising out of the adverse awards of the 13th Finance Commission. Although the recent 14th Finance Commission has proposed to enhance the share of the states in the central taxes from 32% to 42%, it has curtailed a number of benefits which special category states like Tripura used to get earlier, he said. Besides this, the dismantling of the Planning Commission, the decision to wind up a number of centrally sponsored schemes and uncertainty over the new funding pattern of other CSS has been a matter of worry.

“We have requested the Prime Minister to grant us an additional amount of Rs.17,790 crores for the next five years to overcome this financial constraint, though we are yet to receive any response from them. In spite of that we have taken a considered decision in favour of the employees and pensioners of the state. This is a very bold and risky decision despite our persisting financial constraints,” he added.

 The press note issued by the govt. noted:

1. Keeping in line with the benefits provided to the employees and pensioners of the central government, the state government has decided to allow modified revised pay structure including revised pay band and grade pay to the state government employees equivalent to the recommendations of the 6th CPC.

2.Taking into account the other unresolved issues it has been decided to provide the benefits for the purpose of fixation of pay notionally by allowing 3% annual increment w.e.f 1.1.2006 and financial benefits from 1.4.2015.

3. The state government has also decided to revise the remuneration of fixed pay employees of both, groups c and d, as a consequence of the modifications of revised pay structure.

4. Similar benefits shall also be extended to the employees of psu’s, autonomous bodies and local bodies of the state government

5. The wage rates of the workers under state government and undertakings will also be revised by increasing the wage rates by 10% for each category.

6. The government shall have to bear an extra expense of Rs.2439.14 crores for this purpose in the next five financial years.

Replying to a question at the press conference, Manik Sarkar strongly refuted allegations by the leader of the opposition Sudip Ray Barman of the Congress that the CM has patronised the chit fund Rose Valley as he had gone to inaugurate it’s amusement park for the children.

“When I went there in July 2008, we did not know that Rose Valley was involved in the business of chit funds and cheating people. Otherwise we would have never attended it. Along with me, the local Congress party MLA was also present at the function. Generally, I try not to avoid any programmes for children and as Chief Minister, I have to attend programmes of social importance like blood donation camps organised by a number of organisations. But if mere attending such a programme is termed, as patronising a chit fund, then such allegations are politically motivated,” he said.

Adding that the Opposition leader is facing a crisis inside his party, and that he might lose his chair any day, Manik Sarkar said that this was the reason why Sudip Ray Burmanwas making these allegations out of political frustration, and to divert the attention of the people. He said that it was Tripura which the first state to ask the central government and Reserve Bank to take action against these chit funds.

“In 2013 we asked the CBI to start investigation against 37 chit funds including Rose Valley. But when the central agency started investigation against only 5 of them, I myself wrote to the Prime Minister in 2014 to ensure that CBI starts inquiry against all the chit funds including Rose Valley. Not a single instance can be shown where we have encouraged people to deposit money in chit funds,” Mank Sarkar asserted.

It may be recalled that in 2013 the state government conducted a raid in the Agartala office of Rose Valley and the sub divisional magistrate of Agartala issued an interim order to Rose Valley to refund the money of the depositors and not to transfer any of its properties outside the state. In July 2013 the SEBI for the first time ordered Rose Valley to refund the money of the depositers and that order contains a reference of the said order of the SDM of Agartala.