New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: In a much-needed breather to lakhs of salaried class people in the country amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government in the Centre has agreed to release the pending dearness allowance (DA) and dearness relief (DR) of central government employees from July 1 this year that was paused after the outbreak of the pandemic last year.

Confirming the news in the Parliament, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on March 9 had said that the three pending instalments of DA and DR would be restored in July as the central government has saved more than Rs 37,430 crore.

"In view of the crisis arising out of Covid-19, it has been decided that the additional instalment of dearness allowance (DA) payable to central government employees and dearness relief (DR) to central government pensioners, due from 1st January 2020 shall not be paid. Additional instalments of DA and DR from 1 July 2020 and 1 Jan 2021 shall also not be paid," Thakur had said in a written reply, as reported by Hindustan Times.

With this, the DA would increase from the current rate of 17 per cent to nearly 28 per cent -- a three per cent hike from January to June 2020, a four per cent hike from July to December 2020 and a four per cent hike from January to June 2021.

This decision by the government is expected to benefit around 61 lakh pensioners and more than 50 lakh employees of the central government.

The central government has taken various steps to give a breather to salaried class people across the country, who have been severely impacted by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, it also hiked the variable dearness allowance (VDA) rate that now ranges from 105 to 210 paisa per month. The decision, as per the government, will benefit 1.50 crore workers engaged in various scheduled employments in the central sphere across the country.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma