The government is likely to announce the next instalment of the DA (dearness allowance) for central government employees and pensioners soon for the second half of this year, which usually comes around this time of the year before the Navaratri festival ends.
Central government employees and pensioners across the country, paid based on the 7th Pay Commission, are waiting for amendments in Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) ahead of these festival days because, for many years, that pattern has been observed.
This year also, the employees waiting for the announcement of the DA Hike on the occasion of Navratri may get that good news on Wednesday, although it is not confirmed at the moment.
There is a high chance that the DA announcement comes after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting scheduled for 1100 am on Wednesday, although the agenda of that meeting is not known yet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Japan to attend the funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, so the cabinet meeting has been organized after his return on Wednesday.
The agenda of that cabinet meeting is not currently public, but it is believed that the DA hike may be on its agenda for approval, as this tradition has been maintained for many years.
Since the dearness allowance is revised every year before Navratri and subsequent festivals, the possibility of this on the agenda is quite high.
With September 28, i.e., tomorrow, being the third day of the Navaratri festival, it would be an ideal time for the government to make the DA hike announcement, which will benefit about 47.68 lakh central government employees and 68.62 lakh pensioners and is also applicable for civilian employees and those employed in defence services.
Since the effective date for the latest dearness announcement hike is July 1, the staff would be paid the arrears with their latest salaries.
The central government revises dearness allowance and dearness relief on January 1 and July 1 every year, but this decision is usually announced in March and September.
Previously, in March, the cabinet had approved the proposal to increase the dearness allowance (DA) for central government employees and dearness relief (DR) for pensioners by 3 per cent to 34 per cent of the basic pay from 31 per cent previously, effective January 1, 2022.
The government, at the time, paid employees three months in arrears.
Any changes to the dearness allowance are made as per the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th central pay commission to compensate for the rise in prices.
With retail inflation, or the consumer price inflation, elevated above the upper-end of the Reserve Bank of India’s target range of 2-6 per cent in each month this year, the likelihood of a bigger increase in DA is on the cards, with a 4-5 per cent hike doing the rounds in media reports.