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Tripura Cong spews venom

Agartala, July 18: The Left Front government in Tripura is now facing a major charge of "deliberate deprivation" of its employees in terms of salaries and allowances.

The Opposition has alleged that the state was not spending allotted amounts, diverting funds or refunding them.

According to Opposition Sudip Roy Barman, "It is now crystal clear that the state government has been deliberately depriving the employees and state cadre officers of their dues by not spending money, diverting funds or even by refunding unspent amounts." Citing the data provided by the CAG office, Roy Barman said during the 13th Finance Commission between 2009-2010 and 2013-2014 financial years, the state government had kept Rs 1473.12 crore unspent, refunded Rs 124 crore to Centre and diverted Rs 341 crore. This happened at a time when impoverished state employees had been legitimately demanding central pay scale and parity in DA payment with centre, followed in all other states.

"I have obtained the data of only nine departments of the state's total 61. You can imagine the actual scenario when the complete data is available," Roy Barman alleged yesterday.

He added that in 2009-2010, Rs 170.29 crore had remained unspent, while in 2010-2011, the unspent amount under the salary head was Rs 160.54 crore.

In the 2011-2012 fiscal, the unspent amount on salary head was Rs 211.17 crore, while it was Rs 366.01 crore in 2012-2013. But the highest amount of Rs 566.01 crore remained unspent in 2013-2014.

"All these years, state employees got annual increment at only 2.5 per cent rate against 3 per cent given to the employees in all other state and Centre. The gap in DA payment between the Centre, other states and Tripura employees also kept on increasing and now it is 39 per cent. If the Centre gives another instalment of DA to its employees in July, the gap will grow further," said Roy Barman.

He also referred to non-furnishing of any reply by the state government to two successive letters from the Prime Minister's Office during the UPA regime seeking to know the state's requirement of funds to implement central pay scale for employees as "proof of the devious anti-employee policies of the Left Front".

Meanwhile, the Tripura Karmachari Federation, pro-Congress employees union of the state have also decided to meet the governor and the Prime Minister over this issue. "We are not going to sit on the issue. We will struggle politically and move court to get our legitimate dues from the government. Our demand is legitimate and it is public money, not the CPM's or the state government's," said general secretary of the federation, Samar Roy.

There was no response from the state government or the CPM.

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