In a major boost to state government employees, the Uttarakhand government has announced a hike in the Dearness Allowance by 3 per cent, a move which will benefit almost around 2.5 lakh government employees and pensioners.
The decision comes at a crucial time when preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are about to be kicked off. The state Cabinet, headed by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, increased the dearness allowance (DA) of state employees by 3 per cent, taking it to 12 per cent from the existing 9 per cent.
DA is a cost of living adjustment allowance that is calculated as a fixed percentage of a person's basic salary or pension and paid to compensate for price rise stemming from inflation.
According to a state government spokesperson, the order will be applicable with retrospective effect from January 1, 2019. This means the employees will also get arrears of January and February, which will be transferred into General Provident Fund (GPF) account. GPF is a provident fund (PF) account available only for government employees. Currnntly, GPF fetches an interest rate of 8 per cent.
In another major decision, the state government has announced to waive off pending water bills estimated at Rs 70 crore of around 10,000 people rehabilitated at New Tehri due to the construction of the Tehri dam.
The government also approved the setting up of two solar power plants in Udham Singh Nagar in collaboration with the Solar Energy Corporation of India.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations for the employees of all urban local bodies (ULBs) in the state. The revised pay structure will be effective retrospectively from April 1, 2016.
Earlier in December, Maharashtra Chief Minister implemented recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission with retrospective effect from January 1, 2016. The employees will start getting hiked salaries from February 2019. The arrears for the past three years will reportedly be deposited in their accounts in five instalments. The decision to revise the salary of 17 lakh government employees will put an additional burden of Rs 21,000 crore on the state exchequer.
Previously, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir had announced DA hikes for their state government employees under the 7th Pay Commission.
The development comes on the heels of an increase in dearness allowance (DA) by the Union Cabinet on February 19. The Narendra Modi-led central government had raised the DA by 3 per cent effective from January 1, 2019, a move that will benefit more than one crore central government employees and pensioners. The hike, which is based on the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission, will benefit about 48.41 lakh central government employees and 62.03 lakh pensioners.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar