Kolkata: The start of 2012 has a lot in offing for the state employees and pensioners of West Bengal. Around 10 lakh state government employees and 4.30 lakh pensions will get the first installment of their pending Dearness Allowance in January 2012.

After a meeting with the 12 government employees association, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made a formal declaration in this context. She said that out of pending 23 percent Dearness Allowance (DA), first installment of 10 percent would be given to the state employees and pensioners from January 2012.

Banerjee said, “10 percent DA will be given to the school, college, municipality and panchayat level employees. The decision on remaining 13 percent DA will be taken soon.”

She added, “Sitting on a huge debt burden close to Rs 2 lakh crore gifted by Left Front government, the Trinamool Congress government has to deposit Rs 15, 000 crore per month as interest. Despite the battered financial condition of the state, the decision to this effect has been made for the employees’ interest. This will cost the exchequer Rs 250 crore per month and Rs 3,000 crore annually.”

It is worth mentioning that the previous LF government and ongoing Trinamool Congress government had to pay 16 percent DA and 7 percent DA respectively to the employees.

Welcoming the government decision, the LF backed State Co-Ordination Committee (State government Employees Union) secretary Ananta Banerjee said the government could disburse 16 percent DA as the previous government had already approved Rs 55,000 crore as the DA and salary for 2011-12 in the Vote on Accounts.

United State Government Employees Federation, Federation of Secretariat and USGEF have expressed happiness over the state government decision.