Government restores DA for staff, raises it to 28%

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday announced an increase in the dearness allowance for central government employees and dearness relief for pensioners to 28%, from the current 17%, lifting the 18-month suspension to cover inflation.
The freeze that had been imposed in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak was expected to help the Centre save Rs 38,000 crore — a little more than the Rs 35,000 crore budgeted for the current fiscal year for vaccinating against Coronavirus.
“The increase reflects the additional instalments arising on 1 January, 2020, 1 July, 2020 and 1 January, 2021. The rate of dearness allowance/dearness relief for the period 1 January, 2020 to 30 June 2021 shall remain at 17%,” an official statement said.
The development that was being closely watched by central government employees, immediately saw them pulling out calculators to work out the impact on their salaries and allowances.
A large section, however, was not pleased with the announcement. Some argued that “their contribution” in helping the Centre fight Covid-19 should be recognised by the government.
Others said that those who retired during the last few months would have lost out on some leave encashment and pension-related benefits.
Besides, many viewed the increase for the last six-month period to be inadequate, arguing that retail inflation had shot up and the price of auto fuel, edible oil and several pulses had soared to record levels.
Government officials had justified the freeze on DA, arguing that central government employees and pensioners too needed to contribute during a health emergency, which had resulted in companies slashing salaries.



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