Ramakanta Biswas

There is no plan to release the 18 months of Dearness Allowance (DA) arrears stopped during the Covid-19 pandemic to Central government employees, the Finance Ministry informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary told the Upper House that arrears of Dearness Allowance (DA)/Dearness Relief (DR) which mostly pertain to the difficult FY of 2020-21 are not considered feasible. 

Chaudhary was responding to a question on whether the Government has any plan to release the 18 months DA Arrears stopped during Covid-19 pandemic to Central Government Employees and Pensioners.

"The decision to freeze three instalments of Dearness Allowance (DA)/Dearness Relief (DR) to Central Government employees/pensioners due from 01.01.2020, 01.07.2020 & 01.01.2021 was taken in the context of COVID-19, which caused economic disruption, so as to ease pressure on Government finances. As the adverse financial impact of pandemic in 2020 and the financing of welfare measures taken by Government had a fiscal spill over beyond FY 2020-21, arrears of DA/DR which mostly pertain to the difficult FY of 2020-21 are not considered feasible," Chaudhary said.

He further stated that even now the fiscal deficit of the Government is running at more than double the level envisaged in the FRBM Act.

"However, an amount of Rs 34402.32 crore had been saved and utilized to tide over the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on account of freezing of three installments of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief payable to Central Government employees and pensioners," Chaudhary added.