New Delhi, June 16: Employees and pensioners of the central government doubt a hike in dearness allowance (DA) and dearness relief (DR) before July 2021, considering the impact of coronavirus on the economy. Bound by widening fiscal deficit concerns, the Centre is unlikely to rejig its stand on DA and DR despite apprehensions raised by employee unions. 7th Pay Commission: Week After Delhi HC's Dismissal of Plea, Government Employees and Pensioners Still Hopeful of DA, DR Hike.

The central government employees and pensioners were rooting for a hike in allowances, which was expected this year in July. After the outbreak of coronavirus, the government decided to defer the hike in DA and DR till next year due to fiscal constraints.

"In view of the crisis arising out of COVID-19, it has been decided that additional instalment of dearness allowance payable to central government employees and dearness relief (DR) to central government pensioners due from January 1, 2020, shall not be paid," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

"The additional instalment of DA and DR due from July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021, shall also not be paid," the Department of Expenditure further added in an office memorandum.

The government's decision was challenged by an employee body in the Delhi High Court last month. The HC, however, refused to intervene in the government's saying that the rules allow the Centre to decide on the DA and DR of employees and pensioners.

"There is no obligation in law upon the central government to disburse the increase in DA/DR in a time-bound manner,” the bench said, adding, “For the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any merit in this petition and the same is, accordingly, dismissed."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 16, 2020 12:33 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website