Chances are that the festive season will bring more good news for Central government employees and pensioners. There is talk of a likely hike of three per cent in dearness allowance (DA) and dearness relief (DR).
Recently, the DA was increased from 17 per cent to 28 per cent for Central government employees, with effect from July 2021. Simultaneously, the house rent allowance (HRA) was also hiked from 24 per cent to 27 per cent.
If this three per cent hike is implemented, the revised DA will work out to be about 31 per cent against basic.
Last year, in January, the DA was hiked by four per cent and then again by three per cent five months later. In January 2021, the DA was once again revised and increased by four per cent.
The new DA increment is expected to come into effect for the first half of the year 2021. No official confirmation of such a hike has been made by the government yet. However, if it does get announced, it is expected that the increased DA will be paid along with the October salary, benefitting about 48 lakh employees and about 65 lakh pensioners. Employee unions, however, feel that the hike should start with the September salary itself.
Interestingly, DA payouts had been temporarily suspended for about a year and a half, due to pandemic-related economic constraints. Following the increments announced by the Central government, several state governments too announced about 11 per cent hike in DA for their staff.