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Staff to move court over pay

Agartala, May 18: The Karmachari Federation, an association of state government employees, is planning to file a writ petition in Tripura High Court demanding payment of salaries and allowances at par with recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.

“We will wait till June 15 to see whether the state government takes any initiative to clear the dues of the employees and then file the writ petition. Tripura is the only state where government employees do not get salaries and dearness allowance on a par with the central government,” said Samar Roy, general secretary of the pro-Congress Karmachari Federation.

Roy said a delegation of the federation had met outgoing finance minister P. Chidambaram, former leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in February this year and discussed about the “gross deprivation of employees” in Tripura.

“They had said the matter rested with the state government and there was hardly any scope for the Centre to do anything. They assured us that if the Tripura government appropriately asked for funds, it would be given,” he said.

He alleged that even after obtaining funds from the 13th Finance Commission, the Left Front government had deprived the employees and now the 14th commission is preparing to file its report to the Centre in October.

Roy said in addition to filing the petition, members of the federation would also launch an agitation programme to press for its demands.

“We certainly cannot anticipate the order of the high court but our case is very strong and we feel the state government will be hard put to defend its position,” he said.

He said deprivation of employees in financial matters and the discriminatory treatment meted out to them were destroying the work culture.

He said the federation would continue to fight till the state government fulfils all its demands.