Ashok Dasgupta

NEW DELHI: In a bonanza of sorts soon after the Sixth Pay Commission award in September last, Central government employees and pensioners are set to receive heftier packets by way of an additional six per cent dearness allowance/dearness relief (DA/DR) from the next month.

According to a decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) here, the additional DA to serving employees and DR to pensioners is to be included with retrospective effect from January 2009 and payable with their salaries and pensions starting from March.

Briefing the media after the CCEA meeting, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that the revised DA would be 22 per cent, up six per cent from the existing 16 per cent.

Burden on exchequer

The combined additional burden on the exchequer owing to the increased DA to employees and DR to pensioners, he said, would be Rs.6,020 crore for the period January 2009 to February 2010.

For the full year, however, the hit on the exchequer would be Rs.5,159 crore. Mr. Chidambaram pointed out that the decision to hike the DA was taken following the rise in the consumer price index (CPI) for industrial workers. The allowance to Central staff is revised twice each year — from January 1 and July 1 – and paid in salaries of March 1 and September 1, respectively.