The Naveen Patnaik government on Wednesday announced 8 per cent hike in dearness allowance of the State government employees.

The decision to hike the dearness allowance of the government employees has been okayed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, according to an official release. The hike, which will come into effect from January 2013, will increase from existing 72 per cent to 80 per cent. It will be disbursed in cash. According to State Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya, the move will benefit over three lakh employees and 1.2 lakh pensioners.

The hike in dearness allowance will put an additional burden of about Rs. 745.95 crore on the State exchequer.