The Centre Tuesday increased dearness allowance and dearness relief by 1 percentage point to 5 per cent, benefiting 50 lakh employees and 61 lakh pensioners. The decision was made at a Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi here.
The new rate will be applicable from July 1. The combined impact on the exchequer due to both of the DA and the DR would be Rs 3,068.26 crore per annum and Rs 2,045.50 crore in the financial year 2017-18. The move will benefit about 49.26 lakh central government employees and 61.17 lakh pensioners, it said.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, railway minister Piyush Goyal and petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan have been made members of key cabinet committees reconstituted after the September 3 reshuffle.
After her elevation as defence minister, Sitharaman has become a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by the prime minister.
The other members are home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
Minister of state for Urban Development with independent charge Hardeep Singh Puri has also become part of the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation.
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is no more part of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
S S Ahluwalia is also no longer a member of the Cabinet panel on parliamentary affairs which recommends dates of sessions.
Rs 75,000 scholarship scheme
The Cabinet will soon give its nod to a Rs 75,000 monthly scholarship scheme for bright students in higher educational institutions to check brain drain and push innovation, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Gratuity cap goes up
The Cabinet has approved an amendment Bill that seeks to double gratuity ceiling to Rs 20 lakh for employees in the private and public sector, as well as autonomous organisations, bringing them on a par with central government employees.
Nod for oil exploration
The Cabinet has approved a Rs 3,000 crore project to acquire seismic data for prospecting of oil and natural gas reserves.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a project to acquire 48,243 line kilometre (LKM) 2D seismic data for appraisal of Indian sedimentary basins where limited data is available, an official statement said.
National oil companies Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) will implement the project.