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Employees working in a government office. Photo: Hindustan Times (Hindustan Times)
Employees working in a government office. Photo: Hindustan Times
(Hindustan Times)

DA allowance hiked for Union govt employees

CCEA also approves strengthening of integrated child development services, among other decisions on Monday

New Delhi: In other decisions on Monday, the Union cabinet approved the release of additional instalment of inflation-linked dearness allowance (DA) to central government employees and dearness relief to pensioners, with effect from 1 July. The increase is 7% over the existing rate of 65% on the basic pay. The government’s burden on account of this will be 7,408.24 crore per year and for the current fiscal year it will be 4,938.78 crore.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) approved the strengthening and restructuring of integrated child development services (ICDS) that will focus on children under three, maternal care and early childhood care education. The new strengthened scheme will be rolled out in 200 high-burden districts in 2012-13 and an additional 200 districts. The remaining 244 districts will be included in the third year.

The cabinet also approved a decision to extend budgetary support of $25 million to Maldives.

The CCEA cleared the continuation of the MCA21 project for its second cycle from January 2013 to July 2021 as a non-plan scheme at a total project outlay of 357.81 crore, including 54.42 crore for independent project management and certification over an eight-and-a-half year period. It also includes an outlay of 29.84 crore for continuous improvements and upgradation to the electronic service delivery of the ministry of corporate affairs. MCA21 covers the electronic filing of information by companies and is aimed at improving the regulatory environment.

The cabinet committee on infrastructure approved a proposal to delegate enhanced financial powers to the ministry of shipping for public-private partnership (PPP) port projects. Projects costing more than 500 crore only require the Competition Commission of India’s approval. This was earlier 300 crore.

The government has also set aside a 2,300 crore package to implement the “one-rank, one-pension" scheme that has long been demanded by officers and jawans in the armed forces who retired before 2006. This means that retired officers who have served at a particular rank for an equal period of service should get the same pension. If an officer retired as a colonel in 1994, the person will be eligible to the same pension as another officer retiring as a colonel in 2005.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had pledged to implement the concept on 15 August last year.

Rumel Dahiya, retired brigadier and deputy director general of the New Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, said that since most servicemen, especially those in the junior or non-commissioned ranks, retire by 35-45, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to pensions. “A jawan who may have retired say 10 years back, is at a great disadvantage as compared to those who retired later, since pension is linked to last pay drawn," he said.

Although an increase in the price of sugar distributed under the public distribution system (PDS) and the digitalization of the PDS were on the agenda for cabinet on Monday, the items were not taken up as the concerned minister K.V. Thomas could not attend. Thomas was in Hyderabad for an official function.

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