Tripura has declared a 3% hike on basic pay for all state government workers, Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said Saturday adding that "the state government is under acute financial pressure but has chosen not to slash our employees ' salaries." "Instead, we've higher their basic pay by 3%," he said. Despite announcing a pay cut for chief ministers, ministers, and lawmakers, he said the decision was made.

Nath further said that the annual rise in the pay of employees can not be withheld unless anything is unacceptable about an employee's behavior while conducting work. Twice a year in January and July-State government employees are issued with increases in their wages as per tradition.

According to Nath, noting that several states such as Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, and Odisha have declared or are considering wage cuts, his government has chosen a different path.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kerala released an ordinance on April 30 for wage cuts after the High Court had put a stay on their decision to implement six-day wage cuts over a six month period.

As per the raise benefits, Group-A employees who withdraw a salary of Rs. 90,000 would enjoy a raise of Rs. 2,700, Group-B employees with a salary of Rs. 83,200 would receive an increase of Rs 2,500, Group C employees would receive Rs. 900 in addition to their current salary and Group-D employees would receive Rs. 700 extra.

The new state government proposed compensation for workers to the 7th Central Pay Commission earlier in 2018, shortly after they came to power. Lauding the salary hike announcement, BJP spokeswoman Nabendu Bhattacharya said the move is a 'bold step' at the time of the coronavirus pandemic when other states are struggling to keep up their committed spending.

Opposition CPI (M) and Congress, however, have dubbed the announcement 'eyewash' and have said it is an effort to hide the government's failure to pay workers DA and pensioners DR."Let them (Government) talk about their proposals to send workers and pensioners DA and DR. We have provided none since their government was established two years ago, "veteran leader of the CPI (M) and convener of the Tripura Left Front Bijan Dhar told indianexpress.com.

State Congress vice president Tapas Dey said increment is a natural process and employee's right according to the rules of operation. "Claiming it as a job well done by thumping the chest is nothing more than a bad demonstration of success when there is no one," he said.