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On Independence Day, Gujarat CM announces 3% DA hike for govt. employees

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. | Photo Credit: PTI

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Monday announced a 3% hike in the Dearness Allowance for government employees and expansion of welfare schemes under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

The hike is applicable to government staff under the Seventh Pay Commission, with retrospective effect from January 1, 2022, he said.

Some 9.38 lakh employees of the State government, panchayat service and pensioners will get the benefit, he added.

Mr. Patel noted that with this, the State government's financial burden will go up by about ₹1,400 crore annually.

The CM also announced the expansion of the 1-kg gram (pulses) per card per family scheme for the NFSA cardholders, widening the income limit eligibility criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries under the Act.

The 71 lakh NFSA cardholders from all 250 talukas of the State will be given 1 kg of gram (pulses) per card per month at a concessional rate. At present, only the people from 50 developing talukas are getting benefit of the scheme.

The existing eligibility criteria of income limit per month for inclusion under the NFSA has been increased to ₹15,000 from ₹10,000, he said.

Roles and responsibilities

Speaking after hoisting the national flag at Modasa in the Aravalli district during a State-level function to mark the country's 76th Independence Day, Patel appealed to people to awaken the spirit of national interest in their hearts above everything.

“It is our responsibility to keep reaching new heights of safety and peace in a peaceful, developing and safe Gujarat and establish new records of all-inclusive development. Let us take a pledge to make this festival of Independence as the opportunity to make national interest as paramount in our hearts and minds,” he said.

The State government has cared about all sections of society, including the poor, deprived and weak, Mr. Patel said. “We have developed a work culture where people feel least troubled and their issues are resolved at the earliest,” he added.

Along with education, health and security, the government has also focused on agriculture, rural development, uplift of the poor and industrial development, he said.

“Whether it is the industry, rural development, farming, ease of revenue related services, the Gujarat government has always taken citizen-oriented decisions to establish the state remains as a leader on the world map,” he said.

Mr. Patel said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a special place in his heart for the poor, deprived and weaker sections of society. “When we rewind and see the success story of the last 20 years, we notice that PM Modi has created a high benchmark of hard work to make Gujarat a leader in development,” he said.

It is the responsibility of everyone to keep achieving "new levels of safety and security and establish the new record of all-inclusive development," he said.

Projects aplenty

Mr. Patel announced a series of developmental works and infrastructure projects on the occasion. He said electric buses will be put into operation on iconic routes like Dwarka, Ambaji and Statue of Unity, and ₹367 crore will be invested to run 1,200 new BS-6 compliant buses for providing better services to citizens.

Also, ATMs will be installed at 50 bus stations for the convenience of citizens, he added.

A Real Time Coastal Water Monitoring System for water quality testing of the estuaries of rivers flowing into the Gulf of Khambhat under the Encore Project with the assistance of World Bank; a modern 50-bed district-level hospital with a trauma centre in Ektanagar-Kevadia Colony near the Statue of Unity in Narmada district at the cost of ₹3 crore were also announced.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 1:13:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/on-independence-day-gujarat-cm-announces-3-da-hike-for-govt-employees/article65772225.ece