Dearness allowance freeze to continue beyond June 30

NEW DELHI: Much to the chagrin of the Central govt employees and pensioners hoping to get additional dearness allowance (DA) and dearness relief (DR) with the January salary, Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has dashed their expectation, stressing that the freeze clamped in July last year will continue beyond June 30.

He disclosed the government's decision not to lift the freeze even after a year in a meeting with the National Council (Staff side), the joint consultative machinery for the Central Government employees, here on January 18. In a circular to its members, NC secretary Shiva Gopal Mishra said the council expressed anguish over the frozen DA/DR and demanded them with arrears since 01.01.2020.

"During the course of discussion, the Cabinet Secretary said that the country was passing through an unprecedented situation, that is why the govt had to take such an action. But he further said that, there should not be any doubt that freezing of DA/DR will continue even after 30th June, 2021," the circular said.

Mishra said the additional DA/DR rate has been hiked by the government up to 28% from January 1, 2021, but it is only notional as the employees and pensioners won't getting anything in hand despite Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claiming that India's economy has improved and the government may start reversing the steps taken to meet the crisis.

He, however, hoped against hope that the Finance Minister can still gladden the employees and pensioners by defreezing the grant of DA/DR in the budget she would be presenting in Parliament on February 1. "We have not yet got a response from the Prime Minister's office (PMO) to release the additional DA/DR forthwith," he said.

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