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DA increase of 7% likely to be approved by Cabinet

The Cabinet may on Thursday raise dearness allowance (DA) for central government employees and dearness relief (DR) for pensioners by 7 percentage points to 58% of the basic pay/pension.

The last hike in DA was in March when the government increased it by 6 percentage points. The Cabinet is expected to take a decision in this regard on Thursday, sources said. The Cabinet is also expected to clear a proposal for giving productivity linked bonus to Railway employees for the year 2010-11, sources added.

With the proposed DA hike, the basic pay of the central government employees (or pensioners as the case may be) would go up by 36% over a two-year period. The hikes will be implemented from July 1, 2011. The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR increase between January 2009 and January 2011 is estimated to have crossed Rs 16,000 crore. The measure is set to provide relief to a total of around 5 million central government employees and around 4 million pensioners.

The change in DA, which is linked to the consumer price index, has lead to a further change in other allowance structure since rate breached the 50% of basic pay mark in March. For instance, payments like conveyance allowance and children’s education allowance have also gone up by 25%. This hike is in accordance to the formula given in the sixth pay commission report which says: “The rates of these allowances will be increased by 25% every time the DA payable on revised pay scales goes up by 50%.” As a result, there will also be an increase in the special compensatory allowance for the central government employees posted in remote areas such as the north-east and Jammu & Kashmir. Their special allowance also goes up by 25% the moment the 50% trigger was breached. The increased DA and DR are expected to help the households of central government employees and pensioners who are already exposed high inflation.

The Cabinet is also expected to clear the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project being implemented in collaboration with Japan at Thursday’s meeting. The project was conceived five years ago and envisages setting up of industrial corridor along the Delhi-Mumbai stretch. It will comprise seven new cities, nine industrial parks, three ports, six airports and a 1,483 km high-speed rail and road line will be developed as a trading hub. The States covered by the project include Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

The Cabinet will also take up for consideration the national manufacturing policy that aims at raising contribution of manufacturing in GDP from 16% to 26% by 2025 and creating 100 million jobs in next 10 years. Manufacturing sector contributes over 80% to the overall industrial production.

Source: The Financial Express