Release of DA, DR arrears not feasible, says MoS finance Pankaj Chaudhary – Times of India


NEW DELHI: In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on December 13, minister of state (MoS) for finance Pankaj Chaudhary had said that release of dearness allowance (DA)/ dearness relief (DR) arrears was not considered feasible by the government.
Three instalments of DA/DR amount to central government employees/pensioners — due from January 1, 2020, July 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021 — was freezed by the government due to Covid-19 outbreak.
The 18-month halt was needed to ease pressure on government finances, Chaudhary said.
The government received several representations regarding arrears of 18 months of DA/DR payable to central government staff. These include National Council (JCM), National Federation of Indian Railway Men (NFIR), All India Railway Men’s Federation (AIRF), All India Retired Railway Men’s Federation (AIRRF), JCOs/OR Veterans Association (JOVA), Bhartiya Railway Karamchari Union (BRKU), Bhartiya Pension Manch, National Ex-Servicemen Co-ordination Committee and Veteran Association, etc.
“As the adverse financial impact of pandemic in 2020 and the financing of welfare measures taken by government had a fiscal spill over beyond financial year 2020-21, release of arrears of DA/DR was not considered feasible,” Chaudhary said in the written reply.
In 2022, the government announced 2 hikes in DA/DR — one in March (that was effective from January 1) and the second one in September (effective from July 1).
With these back-to-back hikes, DA for central government employees now stands at 38%.
September hike was the 4th raise in DA allowance since the rate hike was stopped in 2020. DA and DR rates were hiked from 17% to 28% after almost a year long gap. Rates were again hiked in October last year when the Centre had increased DA from 28% to 31%.


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