Central staff still guessing on DA hike

NEW DELHI: There may be further delay in the dearness allowance (DA) hike to the central staff that became due on Manuary 1. The staff side of the Joint Consultancy Machinery (JCM) has given a hope to the employees that the hike may be announced in June.
Officials of the JCM, a mechanism for dialogue between the government and the staff, say the DA would be increased by a minimum 4% of the basic salary.
Shiva Gopal Mishra, the staff side secretary, says he has been in a regular touch with the Finance Ministry and the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). They claim the second wave of the Coronavirus has disrupted the government's plan as the DA hike which was to be announced by April end or by the middle of May has been pushed further by a month.
Mishra said even if the government announces the DA hike from January 1, it would be enforced only from July 1 as Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur had told the Rajya Sabha in March to release the DA to staff and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners from July 1. The government had frozen both DA and DR up to June 2021 citing heavy burden caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Expressing concern over the Cabinet Secretary hinting to extend the freeze beyond June, Mishra said an average price index rose by 3.5% between July and December last year and therefore the DA/DR hike is expected to be 4% as per the calculations given in the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations.
On three pending DA instalments, he said the JCM would meet soon to take a decision. He said the government is not against release of the arrears. “We have recommended the Centre to pay DA instalments of the central government employee in parts if they are unable to pay the three instalments of DA to around 52 lakh employees in one go,” he said.
Mishra said the employees would get 28% hike in DA if the arrears and one due from January 1 are paid in one go.

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