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31 Dec 2016

Bengal govt hikes DA by10%

TT, Calcutta, Dec. 30: Mamata Banerjee today announced a 10 per cent hike in the dearness allowance the Bengal government gives to its employees, bringing down the gap with central staffers to 46 per cent.
The hike, whose percentage will be calculated on the basic pay, will be applicable to the state government's 7 lakh employees.
"Every year, we increase the DA of government employees. Although we are facing several financial problems, we will give the 10 per cent DA (hike) to the employees from January 1," the chief minister told a news conference at Nabanna this afternoon.
Mamata said the government would have to spend Rs 3,000 crore annually to pay the increased DA.
Several employees said the announcement had come as a surprise.
"Every year, the chief minister announces a DA hike by October or November. But this year, there had been no such announcement till yesterday. We had almost lost hope," a land department employee said.
Employees' unions said they were apprehending that the DA would not be increased this year because of an interim relief the state government gave to its employees in May by increasing the band pay by 10 per cent and also because of the cash crisis precipitated by demonetisation.
The difference between the DAs offered to central and Bengal government staffers increased to 56 per cent after the Centre hiked the allowance by 2 per cent following the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission.
Nabanna sources said that by increasing the DA, the chief minister wanted to tackle the demand by employees that the re

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