In a Diwali bonanza, the Punjab government on Monday enhanced dearness allowance (DA) of state government employees and pensioners from 65% to 72% of the revised basic pay with effect from July 1, 2012.
Nearly 5 lakh employees and 1.5 lakh pensioners would benefit from the DA hike.
State finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the enhanced DA from July 1 to October 31 would be disbursed in two ways - the amount for the first two months (July 1 to August 31) would be deposited into the General Provident Fund (GPF) account of employees, whereas the arrears from September 1 to October 31 would be paid in cash. He stated that with effect from November 1, the enhanced DA would be merged into the employees' salaries.
Dhindsa said the DA had been increased on the pattern of the union government, adding that the 7% hike would put an additional liability of Rs 351.63 crore on the state exchequer.
He stated that in the case of employees appointed on or after January 1, 2004, the enhanced DA for the period from July 1 to August 31 would be paid in the form of national saving certificates or kisan vikas patras.
In the case of pensioners, the entire amount on account of the enhanced DA would be paid in cash with effect from July 1, 2012.