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Pre-election sops for homeguards

- More leave for Tripura teachers

Agartala, Nov. 8: Determined to leave nothing to chance to ensure return to power in next year’s Assembly polls, the Left Front government in Tripura continues to announce sops for different sections of people.

The state government has taken a crucial decision to give pension to home guards who work as auxiliary force upon retirement. The decision, taken in a cabinet meeting today, sanctions a monthly pension of Rs 750 for each home guard.

“There are altogether 1,166 home guards in Tripura. Despite being part of an auxiliary force they virtually perform all the duties of regular police force. We have decided to give them a small amount of monthly pension to ease their post-retirement hardship. I don’t know whether any state government gives pension to home guards,” minister for power Manik Dey said.

He was addressing the media after the cabinet meeting at the state secretariat. Dey expressed hope that the 14th Finance Commission would reimburse the cost incurred in giving pensions to home guards.

The cabinet has also decided to increase earned leave for teachers to 20 days a year. “At present, teachers get only 10 days’ earned leave in a year. There has been a longstanding demand from teachers’ associations for increasing the number of earned leaves. We have increased it to 20 days a year and this will be effective from 2013,” Dey said.

However, for the first time since June 2010, the state government has increased passenger fares for all kinds of vehicles. “The rate of increase will be 20 per cent because of persistent demand from vehicle owners and unions and sharp rise in prices of petrol, diesel and compressed natural gas used by the vehicles,” Dey said.

He said the state government was left with no other option but to increase the fares because of rise in prices of transport fuel up to 40 per cent over the past few years. “We had formed a high-power committee to examine the issue. The rise in fares being effected is based on recommendations made by the committee,” Dey said.

Among other decisions taken by the cabinet in its meeting today was the decision to create another 100 posts of women multipurpose workers and 60 posts of junior pump operators.

“These posts created by cabinet decisions will be filled up soon as there is severe shortage of staff in these two sectors,” Dey said.


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