Agartala, July 20 (IANS) The Tripura government will move the Supreme Court challenging the Tripura High Court verdict that it pay pending 42 per cent dearness allowance (DA) to its 209,000 employees and pension holders, a minister said on Wednesday.
After the latest four per cent release on July 14, the dearness allowance of Tripura government employees and pensioners rose to 83 per cent, while the central government employees are getting the allowance at 125 per cent.
The Tripura High Court recently directed the difference of 42 per cent be paid to the state employees and pensioners.
“We do not have sufficient funds to give the pending DA to the employees and pensioners. The state government would seek intervention of the Supreme Court against the Tripura High Court order to give pending DA,” Tripura Finance Minister Bhanulal Saha told IANS.
He said: “If we give one more per cent of DA, the government would have to bear Rs 33 crore, and for 42 per cent, the state government requires Rs 1,386 crore annually — which is very difficult for the state government.”
On a writ petition of an employees’ organisation, affiliated to opposition Congress, the Tripura High Court ordered the government to clear the pending DA dues to the government employees subject to availability of funds.
“If the state government clears the pending DA of the employees and pensioners, all developmental and repairing works would come to a halt. The central government has also sealed the maximum limit (3 per cent of GDP) of borrowing loan for carrying out development works up to Rs 1,570 crore,” the minister said.
Saha said: “With regard to state government employees’ payments, the state government had received Rs 500 crore less amount in last financial year (2015-16) from the Union government despite its obligations, and we apprehend that this financial year (2016-17), we may also get Rs 1,100 crore less funds from the central government.”
“As per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, the Centre has not yet provided the full gap grant fund leading to severe financial crunch of our state,” the Finance Minister added.
Saha, who is also Information and Cultural Affairs Minister, said that execution of the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission for state government employees would be considered after the central government takes a final decision on the issue.