Cabinet nod to 4% DA hike for govt employees

 4% dearness relief to pensioners To be applicable from July 1, 2023 Bonus for non-gazetted staff of railways
Union Minister Anurag Thakur addresses the media during cabinet briefing, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (PTI)
Union Minister Anurag Thakur addresses the media during cabinet briefing, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (PTI)

NEW DELHI:  The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister on Wednesday approved the release of an additional 4 per cent Dearness Allowance (DA) to government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners, benefitting around 1.27 crore people. 

It also announced a bonus equivalent to 78 days’ salary to all eligible non-gazetted railway employees, except those of Railway Protection Force. The combined cost to exchequer on account of the DA, DR and bonus is pegged at Rs 14,825.87 crore per annum.

DA and DR are money given by the government to its employees and pensioners, respectively, as a relief from the effect of inflation. It is calculated as a percentage of the basic salary. The current increase in DA and DR will be applicable from July 1, 2023. With the 4 per cent increase over the existing DA amounting to 42 per cent of the basic pay or pension, the total percentage of DA and DR now stands at 46 per cent. 

This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission. The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR would be Rs 12,857 crore per annum. This will benefit about 48.67 lakh Central government employees and 67.95 lakh pensioners.

Moreover, the Cabinet also approved a Productivity Linked Bonus equivalent to 78 days’ wages to all eligible non-gazetted railway employees for the financial year 2022-23. These employees include track maintainers, loco pilots, train managers, station masters, supervisors, technicians, technician helpers, pointsmen, ministerial staff and other Group C staff, excluding RPF or RPSF personnel.

“The performance of the railways in the year 2022-23 was very good. The railways loaded a record cargo of 1,509 million tonnes and carried nearly 6.5 billion (650 crore) passengers,” an official statement said. In recognition of the excellent performance by the railway staff, the Union government has approved productivity-linked bonus payment amounting to Rs 19,68.87 crore to 11,07,346 railway staff.

In another major decision, the Cabinet has given a go ahead for setting up of an inter-state power transmission line to evacuate solar power from a 13 Giga Watt renewable energy project in Ladakh’s Leh to Kaithal in Haryana. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day Speech, had announced setting up of a 7.5 GW solar park in Ladakh.

After extensive field survey, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy prepared a plan to set up 13 GW renewable energy generation capacity along with 12 GWh Battery Energy Storage System in Pang, Ladakh, according to an official statement. For evacuating the huge quantum of power, it will be necessary to create an inter-state transmission infrastructure. The project is targeted to be set up by financial year 2029-30 with a total estimated cost of Rs 20,773.70 crore and 40 per cent central financial assistance estimated at Rs 8,309.48 crore.

The transmission line for evacuating the power will pass through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab up to Kaithal in Haryana where it will be integrated with the national grid. An interconnection is also planned from the project in Leh to existing Ladakh grid so as to ensure reliable power supply to the Ladakh. It will also be connected to Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line to provide power to Jammu & Kashmir. The project will contribute to achieving the target of 500 Giga Watt of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels by the year 2030.

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