New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The Union Cabinet on Thursday hiked the dearness allowance (DA) for central government employees and dearness relief (DR) for pensioners from 28 per cent to 31 per cent ahead of the Diwali festivities in the country. Making the announcement, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said that the decision will be effective from July 1 this year.

The Centre's decision to hike the dearness allowance and and dearness relief by three per cent will benefit nearly 47.14 lakh central government employees and and 68.62 lakh pensioners. The move, however, will cost exchequer nearly Rs 9,488.70 crore per annum.

Earlier this year, the central government had hiked the dearness allowance by 11 per cent from 17 per cent to 28 per cent.

Meanwhile, Thakur, while addressing a press conference, also announced that the Centre has approved PM GatiShakti National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity to economic zones. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Rs 100 lakh crore national master plan for multi-modal connectivity on October 13.

According to the Centre, the PM GatiShakti NMP is aimed to "break Departmental Silos and bring in more holistic and integrated planning and execution of projects with a view to address the issues of Multi Modal connectivity and last mile connectivity".

"This will help in bringing down the logistics cost. This will translate into enormous economic gains to consumers, farmers, youth as well as those engaged in businesses. With this approval, the roll out of PM GatiShakti will get further momentum which will result in holistic and integrated planning framework for infrastructure development in the country," the Centre said in a release.

"With this approval, PM GatiShakti shall bring in various stakeholders together and help integrate different modes of transportation. PM Gatishakti NMP for multi-modal connectivity will ensure holistic governance at the Centre of which are people of India, industries of India, manufacturers of India and farmers of India," it further said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma