Ahead of the festive season, the central government on Wednesday decided to hike the dearness allowance for its employees by 4 percentage points to 46 per cent of the basic salary and pay 78 days of salaries as bonus for non-gazetted railway staff.
Briefing reporters about the Cabinet decisions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the increase in dearness allowance and dearness relief will benefit 48.67 lakh central government employees and 67.95 lakh pensioners, respectively.
The release of the additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) will be applicable from July 1, 2023.
DA and DR are given twice a year to compensate employees and pensioners, respectively, for price rise.
The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR would be Rs 12,857 crore per annum.
In March this year and September last year also, the increase in DA and DR was 4 percentage points.
The DA and DR hikes are applicable from January 1 and July 1.
Thakur also informed that railway employees will receive a bonus equivalent to their 78 days' salaries, benefiting more than 11.07 lakh non-gazetted staff of the national transporter.
The decision will benefit track maintainers, loco pilots, train managers (guards), station masters, supervisors, technicians, technician helpers, pointsmen, ministerial staff and other Group 'C' staff, excluding the RPF and RPSF personnel.
The payment of the Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) to the railway staff is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 1,968.87 crore, Thakur said.
"In recognition of an excellent performance by the railway staff, the Union government has approved the payment of a PLB of Rs 1,968.87 crore to 11,07,346 railway employees.
"The performance of the railways in the year 2022-2023 was very good. The railways loaded a record cargo of 1,509 million tonnes and carried nearly 6.5 billion (650 crore) passengers," an official statement said.