Cabinet clears ₹15,000-crore bonanza for government staff

It includes an extra instalment of dearness allowance, representing a 4% hike for employees and pensioners to compensate for inflation

Updated - October 19, 2023 12:18 pm IST

Published - October 18, 2023 03:20 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Union Minister Anurag Thakur.  File

Union Minister Anurag Thakur. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Putting more money into government employees’ hands amid the festive season and ahead of critical Assembly elections next month, the Union Cabinet on October 18 approved a nearly ₹15,000-crore bounty for them, which includes an extra instalment of dearness allowance, representing a 4% hike for employees and pensioners to compensate for inflation.

The Cabinet’s decisions came a day after the government announced an ad hoc bonus for some Central government employees. The additional dearness allowance (DA) for serving employees and dearness relief (DR) for pensioners will be paid out with effect from July 1, 2023, and take the overall payouts to 46% of the basic pay or pension amounts.

For 11.07 lakh non-gazetted railway employees, a Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages for the financial year 2022-23 was announced, amounting to ₹1,968.87 crore. Railway Protection Force and Railway Protection Special Force personnel are excluded from the ambit of this bonus.

“The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both dearness allowance and dearness relief [for pensioners] would be ₹12,857 crore per annum. This will benefit about 48.67 lakh Central government employees and 67.95 lakh pensioners,” an official statement said, noting that it will recompense them “against price rise”.

On Tuesday, the government had cleared an ad hoc or non-productivity linked bonus for the last financial year 2022-23 equivalent to 30 days of emoluments with a ceiling of ₹7,000, for non-gazetted ‘Group B’ employees and all ‘Group C’ employees who are not covered by any productivity linked incentives. This bonus is also admissible for eligible employees of the armed forces and the Central paramilitary forces. The exact outgo on account of this bonus could not be ascertained.

Plea to Railway Board

Reacting to the productivity-linked bonus payments announced for 11,07,346 railway employees, Shiva Gopal Mishra, general secretary of All India Railwaymen’s Federation, requested the Railway Board to ensure railwaymen receive the bonus before Durga Puja and Dasara.

The Cabinet noted that the Railways’ performance was “very good” in 2022-23 as it carried a record cargo of 1,509 million tonnes and nearly 6.5 billion passengers.

“Payment of PLB will act as an incentive to motivate the railway employees for working towards further improvement in performance,” the government said, even as it noted that many factors were responsible for last year’s record performance, including improvement in infrastructure due to infusion of record capital expenditure, efficiency in operations and better technology.

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