With the festive season of Dusshera and Diwali on the horizon, the Union Cabinet has made a series of long-anticipated announcements that are set to significantly benefit government employees and farmers.

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

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has granted its approval for an increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all mandated Rabi Crops during the Marketing Season of 2024-25. This crucial move is aimed at ensuring that farmers receive remunerative prices for their produce. Notably, the highest increment in MSP has been sanctioned for lentils (masur), amounting to Rs. 425 per quintal. Rapeseed and mustard crops will see an increase of Rs. 200 per quintal, while wheat and safflower will receive a boost of Rs. 150 per quintal each. Barley and gram will experience an increment of Rs. 115 per quintal and Rs. 105 per quintal, respectively, as stated in an official release.

Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief Hike

The Cabinet has provided its endorsement for an additional installment of Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) due from July 1, 2023. This move will benefit a substantial number of beneficiaries, including 48.67 lakh Central Government Employees and 67.95 lakh pensioners. The DA and DR have been raised by 4 percent, elevating the existing rate of 42 percent to 46 percent of the Basic Pay/Pension. This adjustment is aimed at mitigating the impact of rising prices. The increase adheres to a formula accepted by the government, rooted in the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission. The combined financial effect, encompassing both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief, is estimated to amount to Rs. 12,857 crore per annum, providing tangible benefits to a significant population of 48.67 lakh Central Government employees and 67.95 lakh pensioners, as stated in an official release.

Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) for Railway Employees

The Union Cabinet has granted approval for the allocation of a Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) that corresponds to 78 days’ wages for the financial year 2022-23. This bonus is intended for all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees, including Track maintainers, Loco Pilots, Train Managers (Guards), Station Masters, Supervisors, Technicians, Technician Helpers, Pointsmen, Ministerial Staff, and other Group ‘C’ staff, excluding RPF/RPSF personnel. This decision has been made in acknowledgment of the exceptional performance of Railway staff. The Union Government has sanctioned a payment of PLB totaling Rs. 1,968.87 crore to benefit 11,07,346 railway employees. The Railways exhibited remarkable performance in the year 2022-2023, as evidenced by a record cargo of 1509 million tonnes and nearly 6.5 billion passengers carried. The provision of PLB serves as an incentive to inspire Railway employees to strive for further improvements in performance, as conveyed in an official release.

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