THE CABINET on Wednesday approved an 11 percentage point hike in Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) for central government employees and pensioners effective July 1. With this, the new DA rate will be 28 per cent, up from 17 per cent.
The DA and DR were frozen last year as the pandemic hit the country.
After the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told reporters: “In view of the unprecedented situation which arose due to the Covid-19 pandemic, three additional installments of Dearness Allowance to the central government employees and Dearness Relief to the pensioners, which were due from January 1, 2020; July 1, 2020; and January 1, 2021, had been frozen.”
“Now, the central government has decided to increase the Dearness Allowance… with effect from July 1, 2021 to 28 per cent, representing an increase of 11 percentage points over existing rate of 17 per cent of the basic pay or pension,” he said.
He said the move will directly benefit more than 48 lakh central government employees, and 65 lakh pensioners.
In a statement, the government said the increase in DA “reflects the additional installments arising” on the three due dates mentioned above. It said the rate for DA for the period between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 will remain 17 per cent.
The increase in the DA and DR will impose an additional annual burden of Rs 34,401 crore on the exchequer, the minister said.
In a separate decision, the Cabinet approved the continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary for another five years till March 2026.
Of the total cost of Rs 9,000 crore, the central government’s share will be Rs 5,357 crore, which will include Rs 50 crore for the Gram Nyayalayas Scheme, the government said in a statement.
It said there are still several courts functioning in rented premises, with “insufficient space and some in a dilapidated condition without basic amenities” and it “adversely affects their working and performance”.
Under the proposal, 3,800 court halls and 4,000 residential units for the judicial officers of district and subordinate courts will be constructed. Additionally 1,450 lawyer halls, 1,450 toilets complexes and 3,800 digital computer rooms will also be constructed.