The decision to hike DA for its employees and to provide dearness relief for pensioners by 10 percent to 100 percent was taken by the Union Cabinet in its meeting held here.
    
"The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to hike Dearness allowance for its employees and dearness relief for its pensioners to 100 per cent in its meeting held here," a source said.
    
This increase in the DA by the UPA-2 government comes ahead of the imposition of the model code of conduct by the Election Commission.
    
The code is likely to come into force with the announcement of the schedule for the forthcoming general elections in a week or so.
    
Also it would be the second double digit DA hike in a row. The government had announced a hike of 10 percent to 90 percent in September last year, effective from July 1, 2013.
    
The new hike in DA would be effective from the January 1 this year.
    
As per practice, the government uses Consumer Price Index- Industrial Workers data of the past 12 months to arrive at a quantum for the purpose of any DA hike. Thus, the retail inflation for industrial workers between January 1 to December 31, 2013 was used to take a final call on the matter.
    
According to the provisional data released by government on January 31, the retail inflation for factory workers in December was 9.13 percent. The revised retail inflation data for January is scheduled to be released on Friday.
    
An official had said earlier that the preliminary assessment suggests that DA hike will not be less than 10 percent and would be effective from January 1.

Govt approves Rs 1,000 minmum monthly pension under EPS-95


Government has also approved the proposal to ensure Rs 1,000 minimum monthly pension under a scheme of retirement fund body EPFO that would immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners.
    
The decision to provide the entitlement under Employees' Pension Scheme-95, run by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation, was taken by the Union Cabinet in its meeting held here.
    
The move will immediately benefit about 28 lakh pensioners including five lakh widows. There are 44 lakh pensioners.
    
Earlier this month the EPFO trustees had approved the proposal. The Central Board of Trustees (CBT), the apex decision making body of EPFO had met on February 5, and decided to amend the EPS-95 scheme for the purpose.
    
The proposal was placed before the Union Cabinet for approval as the government had made funding provisions for it. The government would have to provide an additional amount of around Rs 1,217 crore to ensure the minimum pension of Rs 1,000 starting 2014-15.
    
Pensioners will get the benefit with effect from April 1. The proposal has already been approved by the Finance Ministry.

(Agencies)

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