Agartala, September 21, 2023: In a move aimed at enhancing the festive season for state employees, the Festival Grant has been raised by Rs 300, benefiting a significant workforce of 1,97,176 individuals. This announcement was made by the Finance Minister Pranajit Singha Roy during a press conference held at the Civil Secretariat here in Agartala city on Thursday afternoon.
The decision to increase the Festival Grant, which will result in a total expenditure of Rs. 36 crore for the state government, comes as welcome news for employees across various categories.
In the financial year 2022-23, the festival grant for DRW employees and pensioners, including Group-C and Group-D employees, was fixed at Rs. 1,500. With the new adjustment, this grant has been raised to Rs. 1,800. Additionally, part-time workers, contract workers, casual workers, anganwadi workers, helpers, home guards, and SPO jawans, who received a festival grant of Rs. 1,700 in the previous financial year, will now receive Rs. 2,000 due to the Rs. 300 increase.
During the press conference, Finance Minister Pranjit Singh Roy highlighted that the festival advance for government employees, categorized under group-A, group-B, group-C, and group-D, will remain unchanged at Rs. 20,000 for this year. The festival grant and festival advance will benefit a diverse workforce, including DRW employees, anganwadi workers/helpers, and contract workers, ultimately extending festive cheer to all religious communities during celebrations such as Durga Puja, Christmas, Garia Puja, Buddha Purnima, Eid-Uz-Joha, Eid-ul-Fitr, Bengali New Year, Mahavir Jayanti, Guru Nanak’s Birthday, and more.
The Finance Minister also provided context, revealing that the festival grant has seen a steady increase over the years. In the financial year 2017-18, it stood at Rs. 700, subsequently rising to Rs. 1,000 in 2018-19, and further to Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 1,700 in the 2022-23 financial year. The latest increase of Rs. 300 will boost the grant this year. In terms of festival advance, it saw an even more significant transformation, rising from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,000 in the financial year 2017-18, and eventually reaching Rs. 20,000 in the 2022-23 financial year. Notably, even Anganwadi helpers and workers, who previously did not receive any festival advance, began receiving Rs. 5,000 from the 2021-22 financial year, a provision that remains unchanged for this year. Additionally, Home Guard and Asha workers will continue to receive festival advances of Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 2,000, respectively, maintaining the status quo from the previous financial year.
Finance Secretary Apoorba Roy and Additional Secretary Akinchan Sarkar were also present during the press conference to provide further insights and details on the financial measures.