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Devbrat Patnaik

New Delhi: Amidst the crisis of a pandemic, here is a good news that will definitely bring cheers on the faces of the government employees who had been waiting for long for increase in their dearness allowance. The Delhi government has enhanced monthly dearness allowance (DA) for its unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and other category workers as per the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.

Reportedly, the wages have been fixed at monthly Rs 15,492 (daily Rs 596) for unskilled workers, Rs 17,069 (daily Rs 657) for semi-skilled workers; while for skilled workers it is fixed at Rs 18,797 (daily Rs 723).

A government statement said the revised minimum wages, including the dearness allowance (DA), will be applicable to unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled categories in all scheduled employments with effect from October 1, 2020.

Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who is also in-charge of the labour department, said the government will ensure the workers receive timely wages during the coronavirus crisis.

As per reports, the minimum wage rates for clerical and supervisory staff employees have also been increased by the government. "Of these, non-matriculation will get monthly wages of Rs 17,069 (Rs 657 daily), matriculates but non-graduates to get monthly Rs 18,797 (daily Rs 723), and graduates and above to get monthly Rs 20,430 (daily Rs 786)," the statement said.

The dearness allowance (DA) is revised twice every year, in April and October, but due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation and economic hardship, the DA could not be revised in April this year. However, the price hike of that period has been taken into account while revising the allowance now, Sisodia said.

The DA for regular government employees has been frozen from January 2020 to June, 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, in consonance with the directions of the Union Ministry of Finance, the statement said. However, DA for workers placed at the bottom of the hierarchy cannot be frozen as they are generally provided only minimum wages, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, the Deputy CM stated.

It is to be noted that the Central government had put on hold the hike in dearness allowance (DA) for the year. In March, the union cabinet had approved an increase of 4 per cent in DA to 21 per cent. Central government employees and pensioners have continued to receive DA at current rates, that is, 17 per cent as part of their salary/pension, according to the office memorandum.

The memorandum further stated that no arrears will be paid from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. However, any hike in DA due to revision on July 1, 2021 will take into account the previous hikes as well.

READ | 7th Pay Commission: DA Hike For Central Govt Employees Likely After June

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