7th Pay Commission latest news: The most recent statement from the Centre regarding the demand for 18-month Dearness Allowance (DA) arrears is a significant setback for the lakhs of government employees who were hoping for something during the time when DA hikes were frozen due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Between January 2020 and June 2021, the Centre had frozen DA increases for government employees. Following the cabinet meeting on July 14, 2021, the DA hike was resumed. The DA for focal government representatives was then climbed altogether by 11%. However, employees had hoped that the government would take the issue into consideration and have continuously demanded arrears for the time period.
However, the most recent response from MoS Finance Pankaj Chaudhary is a significant setback. “arrears of DA/DR which mostly pertain to the difficult FY of 2020-21 are not considered feasible,” the Center stated in a written response. It has argued that the “adverse financial impact of the pandemic in 2020 and the financing of welfare measures taken by the Government had a fiscal spillover beyond FY 2020-21” was the reason for this.
“In the context of COVID-19, which caused economic disruption, the decision was taken to freeze three instalments of Dearness Allowance (DA)/Dearness Relief (DR) to Central Government employees/pensioners due from 01.01.2020, 01.07.2020, and 01.01.2021 in order to ease pressure on Government finances.
Arrears of DA/DR, most of which pertain to the difficult FY 2020-21, are not considered feasible, as the negative financial impact of the pandemic in 2020 and the financing of welfare measures taken by the government had a fiscal spillover beyond FY 2020-21,” MOS Chaudhary was reported to have stated in his written response to a question on the subject.
The Center’s response suggests that the long-standing issue won’t resolve itself in a way that will be beneficial to government employees. In the meantime, central government workers can anticipate the announcement of the first DA increase for 2023 in the near future.