In a move to further increase consumption during the ongoing festive season, the Union cabinet has decided to hike dearness allowance of government employees by 5 per cent to 17 per cent. This is the highest ever 5 percentage points increase in dearness allowance (DA) and is exptected to bring cheers to 50 lakh central employees and 65 lakh pensioners ahead of Diwali. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the 5 per cent additional DA/DR (dearness relief) over the existing rate of 12 per cent of the basic pay/pension due in July, 2019.
The decision will cost the exchequer Rs 16,000 crore, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said while briefing media on the decisions taken by the Cabinet on Wednesday.
The cabinet, which met on Wednesday, has also decided to provide Rs 5.5 lakh each to 5,300 displaced families from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, who have settled in regions others than Jammu and Kashmir, but later returned to the state. "This will provide justice to these displaced families," said Union minister Prakash Javadekar addressing a press meet after the Union cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
In addition, the cabinet has also decided to extend Aadhaar seeding date to avail Rs 6,000 benefit under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) Scheme till November 30. The date has been extended to help farmers ahead of rabi (winter) sowing, he said. The minister said over 7 crore farmers have already benefited under the PM-Kisan scheme, under which Rs 6,000 is being provided to each farmer in three equal installments.
The government also announced its decision to double the salary of ASHA workers from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000, in addition to setting up 40,000 wellness centres.
(With PTI inputs)