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Following an indefinite strike by the employees associated with the Mahatma gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the Tripura government Friday increased their salaries.

Briefing mediapersons about the cabinet decision, Tripura Rural Development Minister Jitendra Chaudhury said: “Around 3,000 staff of MGNREGS from now onwards would get a minimum of Rs.6,933 and the maximum of Rs.13,218 per month, considering their status and official position.”Earlier, the minimum and maximum salaries were between Rs.5,600 and Rs.10,000.The minister said that to implement the higher rate of salaries for the MGNREGS staffs, the state government has to annually spend Rs.26.33 crore from the government exchequer.

Chaudhury also said that the MGNREGS employees from now on would also get maternity and paternity leave and dearness and travelling allowances.

Over 3,000 technical assistants, assistant accountants, computer operators, programme assistants and Gram Rozgar Sevaks, working in 45 blocks in eight districts across the northeastern state to operate the scheme, were on an indefinite strike since Wednesday, demanding a raise in their salaries.

Hours after the government announcement, the agitating employees withdrew their three-day-long strike Friday afternoon.

The Left-ruled Tripura continues to be the leading state in the country in terms of average employment under the rural employment guarantee scheme, with the state providing 72.39 person-days of work in the last fiscal (2011-12).

“Tripura retained the top position since the 2009-10 fiscal in terms of person-days generation in the 2011-2012 financial year, followed by Andhra Pradesh (48.70 person-days) and Sikkim (47.43),” Chaudhury said.

He alleged that the central government was not releasing funds meant for the job scheme in due time.

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