The Tripura government said on Saturday that it has paid salaries to all government employees in time, a day after the Centre told the Supreme Court that it was among five states that are yet to follow the directives on timely payment to healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19 duties.
Speaking to reporters, state minister Ratan Lal Nath said the salaries of all healthcare workers, including doctors, have been paid within the due date every month.
Not only healthcare workers but full salaries of all employees of the state government have been paid within the due date without any deduction," Nath, the state cabinet spokesperson, said.
Also, all healthcare workers and doctors who are quarantined, whether in an institution or at home, are being treated as on duty. Further, the full cost of their food, lodging and other needs during the period of institutional quarantine is being paid by the government," he said.
The law minister said healthcare workers are the warriors in the fight against the COVID-19 and all of them have received their salaries in time.
Nath said there was a communication gap between the state and central government officials over the issue.
We will file a detailed affidavit in the apex court within a week," he added.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, on Friday told a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah that five states -- Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tripura and Karnataka -- have not paid the salaries to the full satisfaction of doctors and healthcare workers engaged in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Mehta said that appropriate steps in this regard shall be taken by the central government to ensure that salaries of doctors and healthcare workers are released.
He sought a week's time to apprise the court about the steps taken in this regard, which was granted by the top court.
The top court also asked the Centre to clarify that the compulsory quarantine period of healthcare workers is not to be treated as leave and salaries are not deducted for the period.