In anticipation of the upcoming festivals, Dusshera and Diwali, the Union Cabinet has delivered on a series of much-awaited announcements that will provide a significant boost to both government employees and farmers.

Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Rabi Crops in the Marketing Season 2024-25

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has granted approval for an increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all essential Rabi Crops during the Marketing Season 2024-25.

“The government has enhanced the MSP for Rabi Crops in the Marketing Season 2024-25 to ensure that growers receive remunerative prices for their produce. The most significant hike in MSP has been approved for lentils (masur) at Rs. 425 per quintal, closely followed by rapeseed & mustard at Rs. 200 per quintal. Wheat and safflower each witness an increase of Rs. 150 per quintal, with barley and gram seeing a rise of Rs. 115 and Rs. 105 per quintal, respectively,” as stated in an official release.

Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief Increase

The Cabinet has endorsed an additional installment of Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) effective from 01.07.2023, benefiting 48.67 lakh Central Government Employees and 67.95 lakh pensioners. The Cabinet has increased DA and DR by 4 percent, raising it from the existing 42 percent to 46 percent of the Basic Pay/Pension. This adjustment is intended to counter the effects of rising prices.

“This increase adheres to the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission. The combined financial impact due to both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief will amount to Rs. 12,857 crore annually. This will be beneficial for approximately 48.67 lakh Central Government employees and 67.95 lakh pensioners,” according to an official statement.

Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) for Railway Employees

The Union Cabinet has sanctioned a Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equal to 78 days’ wages for the fiscal year 2022-23, extending to all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees, including Track maintainers, Loco Pilots, Train Managers (Guards), Station Masters, Supervisors, Technicians, Technician Helpers, Pointsman, Ministerial Staff, and other Group ‘C’ staff (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel).

“In acknowledgment of the exemplary performance by Railway personnel, the Union Government has approved the disbursement of PLB amounting to Rs. 1968.87 crore for 11,07,346 railway employees. The Railways’ performance in the year 2022-2023 was outstanding, marked by the transportation of a record 1509 million tonnes of cargo and the service of nearly 6.5 billion passengers. The payment of PLB serves as an incentive to encourage further improvements in Railway employee performance,” as highlighted in an official release.

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