The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved ₹3,737 crore bonus for central government employees. The bonus will benefit 30 lakh non-gazetted employees including those in autonomous central organisation, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said.
“Union Cabinet approves productivity linked bonus and non-productivity linked Bonus for 2019-2020. More than 30 lakh non-gazetted employees will be benefited by the bonus announcement and total financial implication will be ₹3,737 crores,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar said.
The bonus will be given in a single instalment, through direct benefit transfer, before Vijayadashami, Javadekar said. “This will encourage the middle-class to spend and thus add to the demand in the economy,” the minister said.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 12 October announced ₹73,000 crore demand push to the economy ahead of the festive season. Two schemes have been introduced — LTC cash voucher scheme and special festival advance scheme for for the central government and public sector employees.
An employee is eligible for LTC and leave encashment of 10 days for travel to home town or any other destination twice in a block of four years. As travel has become restricted in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, the central government employees now have an option to avail the cash equivalent of entitled LTC fare and leave encashment. The employees are now eligible to purchase goods and services in lieu of the tax-exempt portion of the LTA or LTC.
But to avail these scheme, an employee needs to spend an an amount equal to the value of leave encashment and an amount three times of the cash equivalent of deemed fare, on purchase of items or avail services. The spending has to be done through the digital mode before March 31 on goods and services that attract GST of 12% or more. The employee shall obtain a voucher indicating the GST number and the amount of GST paid.
Under special festival advance scheme, the employees can get ₹10,000 interest-free loan that they would need to pay back in 10 instalments. The money will be given through prepaid RuPay Card that will get deactivated after March 31, 2021. The unused amount will lapse and employees will have to pay back the consumed amount in instalments.
“Measures by government to stimulate demand must not burden the common citizen with future inflation and must not put government debt on an unsustainable path,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier stated.
Union Cabinet also approved the adaptation of the Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989. “This move will help establish all the three tiers of grass-root level democracy like in other parts of the country,” Javadekar mentioned.