New Delhi: In good news for 50 lakh government employees and 62 lakh pensioners this festive season, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said that Dearness Allowance has been raised by five per cent from the existing 12 per cent, as a “Diwali gift”.

“Under leadership of Prime Minister Modi, several decision have been taken and good news for govt employees is that Dearness Allowance has been hiked by 5%,” Prakash Javadekar said.

Javadekar added the raise would cost the exchequer nearly Rs 16,000 crore. Notably, a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was held this morning, where this move was approved.

The decision of the Union Cabinet will be effective from July 2019 and is considered as a major relief for government employees.

The Dearness Allowance is a part of the salary paid to public sector employees and pensioners by the government to mitigate the effect of inflation.

Making a string of announcements, the Union Minister further said that 5300 displaced families (from PoK), who had settled in regions others than Jammu and Kashmir but later came to the state, will also be provided Rs 5.5 Lakh each. “This will provide justice to these displaced families,” he stated.

Further, the Union Minister said the Cabinet has also decided to extend till November 30, 2019, the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding for release of benefits under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi after August 1, 2019.