New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday has approved to increase the Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) for central government employees and pensioners from July 2021 to 28 percent.

The increase in the DA and DR will impose an additional annual burden of Rs 34,401 crore on the exchequer, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur told reporters after the cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The move will benefit about 48.34 lakh central employees and 65.26 pensioners,” Anurag Thakur added.

In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Union Government had frozen the three additional instalments of the DA and DR which were due from January 1, 2020, July 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

“Now, the Government has decided to increase the Dearness Allowance to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief to pensioners with effect from 01.07.2021 to 28% representing an increase of 11% over the existing rate of 17% of the Basic Pay/Pension,” an official press statement read. 

The rate of Dearness Allowance/Dearness Relief for the period January 2020 to June 2021 shall remain at 17 percent.

BJP national president JP Nadda has hailed the decision of the Union Cabinet. Nadda said that ‘it’s a huge step and will benefit over 60 lakhs pensioners and 52 lakhs Central employees.’