JCM Meeting on 26th June 2021
On 26th June 2021, a letter signed by the Finance Secretary regarding approval of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief was circulated in social media that the DA/DR had been restored from January 2020. In the invitation to JCM, the author has already mentioned that the government may not change its stand due to huge augmentation of expenses in the pandemic and therefore, it might be that the arrear would not be resprotectivly given. But it may be that a cumulative percentage would be given to the Central Government Employees to nullify the effects of inflation on the salary of employees.
It is also well known that Central Government employees are anxiously waiting for the announcement of DA/DR. In the meantime, a fake order of the finance secretary regarding approval of DA/DR reciprocally played with the emotions of these people. However, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) tweeted instantly that this is a fack order and the finance department hasn’t issued it. This information has cleared that no such order has been issued.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of National Staff Side (Joint Consultative Machinery for Central Government Employees), Shiva Gopal Mishra, issued the minutes of the meeting and presented the decisions taken in the meeting on several issues including DA/DR. In this minute, it is clearly mentioned that the cabinet secretary assured the staff side that the process of DA/DR in the department of expenditure is under process and it would very soon be put in front of Cabinet for approval. It means the central government employees have to wait as there is a convention regarding DA/DR that is announced in the month of September. The authority to release DA/DR is political and therefore, it would firstly be announced either by a Cabinet minister or Cabinet spokesperson. Thereafter, the order of release of DA/DR is signed by either the under secretary or deputy secretary.
The reason behind the delay in announcement is that DA/DR is calculated on the basis of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of Industrial Worker (IW) issued by the Labour Ministry. For every month, It is released in the last week of the coming month. For instance, data of CPI(IW) of April 2021 is announced on 31st May 2021. It means that the release of CPI(IW) is normally delayed by one month. Therefore, the CPI(IW) up to June 2021 would be released in the last week of the month of July 2021.
After the release, the department of expenditure requires time to process the file for one month and it is normally completed in the month of August. Once the file processing is completed, it is put in front of Cabinet for approval in the month of September and therefore, DA/DR is announced by the spokesperson of the cabinet in the last fortnight of September. Conventionally, the first DA/DR is announced in the month of March and second is announced in the month of September every year due to delay of release of CPI(IW) and process of file in the department of expenditure. However, the DA/DR is reciprocatively released from January and July of every year. Although from January 2020, DA/DR is freezed by the government due to unprecedented rise in the expenses during this pandemic.
It means that the waiting time is still not over. Hence, the government employees should not permit anyone to play with emotions like fake order circulation. They should confide in the Government of India. Central government employees have to wait till the last week of September 2021 for the announcement as it is well said by Aristotle, “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet”.