Yediyurappa’s parting gift: Hike in DA for govt employees

Just hours before resigning from the Chief Minister’s post, outgoing Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa on Monday ordered a hike in dearness allowance (DA) for state government employees by 10.25 per cent.

With this, the DA of employees will be 21.50 per cent of their basic pay, according to an order issued by the Finance Department which was under Yediyurappa. The existing DA is 11.25 per cent of basic pay.

The decision follows a representation made to Yediyurappa by the Karnataka State Government Employees’ Association about 10 days ago, just a week after the Union government had increased the DA for its staff members from 17 per cent to 28 per cent.

The DA hike will benefit as many as six lakh state government employees, apart from 4.5 lakh pensioners and around three lakh staff employed with various boards and corporations in the state.

The last DA hike was announced in October 2019, soon after Yediyurappa came to power in Karnataka.

The state had then announced a 4.7 per cent increase in DA, but due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, the state government had decided to put the move on hold for a year.

The deferment of the hiked component reduced the DA from 11.2 per cent to 6.5 per cent. The state government employees had been demanding that it be restored.

At present, the state government spends Rs 62,413 crore annually to pay bills, of which, Rs 23,413 crore goes to pensioners.

The DA hike is expected to result in an additional burden of around Rs 7,000 crore on the state exchequer.

C.S. Shadakshari, the president of Karnataka State Government Employees’ Association, has been demanding that state government employees’ salaries should be brought at par with their counterparts in the Central government.

“There is a wide disparity in the salaries of the state and Central government employees. State employees draw Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 less than their counterparts in the Centre. The state government should rectify this,” the KSGEA said earlier.