Haryana freezes dearness allowance at current rate for one year
Confronting an acute financial crisis while battling Covid-19, freezing employees’ DA at the current rate that was due from January 1, 2020, is yet another desperate step of the Manohar Lal Khattar government to squeeze its expenditure.Updated: Jul 07, 2020 13:24 IST
Haryana government on Monday decided to freeze the dearness allowance (DA) of its employees and dearness relief (DR) of the pensioners at the current rates till July 2021.
Though the state government will continue to pay DA and DR at the current rate of 17%, the employees and the pensioners will not be paid arrears of these allowances from January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
Confronting an acute financial crisis while battling Covid-19, freezing employees’ DA at the current rate that was due from January 1, 2020, is yet another desperate step of the Manohar Lal Khattar government to squeeze its expenditure.
There are about 3.5 lakh employees across 38 departments, boards and corporations of the state .
The salary bill of the employees is about Rs 1,870 crore per month and pension bill is about Rs 770 crore per month.
Before the lockdown was imposed in March, Haryana was a revenue-surplus state. After that, the state has been struggling to meet the committed liabilities and releasing salary and pension in a staggered manner.
The financial crisis has forced the government to impose a ban on the purchase of new vehicles, besides deferring all new recruitments for government jobs for a year.
On Monday, the finance department sent a letter to the heads of department, divisions and deputy commissioners, informing them about the freezing of DA and DR at current rates.
“In view of the crisis arising out of Covid-19, it has been decided that additional instalment of DA payable to Haryana government employees and dearness relief to Haryana government pensioners, due from January 1, 2020, will not be paid,” the department said.
“However, DA and DR at the current rate of 17% will continue to be paid,” the finance department added.
When the decision to release the future instalment of DA and DR due from July 1, 2021 is taken, the rates of DA and DR as effective from January 1, 2020, July 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021 will be restored ‘prospectively’ and will be subsumed in the cumulative revised rate effective from July 1, 2021.
After the Covid-19 outbreak, Haryana has been heavily relying on market borrowings.
An official said the revenue shortfall in March was about Rs 2,400 crore and it went past Rs 4,100 crore in April.
Such is the financial crisis that recently, chief secretary Keshni Anand Arora urged all administrative secretaries to explore austerity measures, saying the economy of the state was enduring an ‘enormous setback’ due to the lockdown and the state was facing an ‘unprecedented resource crunch’.