BHUBANESWAR: Irked over the State Government’s announcement to pay the revised dearness allowance (DA) from January 1, 2020, employees of the State Secretariat staged a protest during lunch break on Saturday demanding reconsideration of the decision.
While several service associations and unions are contemplating to protest the Government order to pay five per cent enhanced DA from January 1 this year, Secretariat employees have decided to launch a token dharna on all working days if the revised DA is not paid with retrospective effect from July 2019 as done by the Centre.
“Considering the overall financial resources and fiscal target stipulated under Odisha Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2005, the State Government has been pleased to release additional dose of DA at the rate of 5 pc enhancing the same from the existing 12 per cent to 17 per cent on the basic pay with effect from January 1, 2020, in favour of State Government employees covered under Odisha Revised Scale of Pay Rules, 2017,” said an office memorandum of Finance department issued on January 14.
As the State Government has been following DA pattern of the Centre for a long time, its latest decision has come as a shock to state employees.
“It is grossly disappointing and unacceptable as the State Government employees are going to lose five per cent of their basic salary for a period of six months,” rued some employees preferring not to be named.
The DA hike was due from July 2019 in line of the revision done for Central employees. Revision of pay of State Government employees as per recommendation of the 7th Pay Commission was effected from January 2016 though a delayed declaration was made in August 2017.
The revised salary from January 2016 to August 2018 had to be disbursed as arrear. Though 40 per cent of the arrear amount was disbursed during FY 2017-18, the State Government on Friday sanctioned another 10 per cent. There is no clarity as to when the balance 50 per cent will be released, sources said.
“Had the Government deposited this amount in the general provident fund (GPF) of the employees, they could have earned interest,” the sources maintained. Meanwhile, the Centre is mulling a further increase of 4 per cent DA for its employees since this January, which may come to effect soon.