The Labour Bureau has published the All-India Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) for the month of September 2023, which declined sharply by 1.7 points from August 2023. This has led to anxiety among central government employees, as they were anticipating a DA hike of over 50% from January 2024.
Currently, the DA for central government employees is 46%. However, based on the CPI-IW indices till September 2023, the expected DA for January 2024 was almost certain to cross 50%. This is an increase of 4 percentage points from the current DA. However, even with the the CPI-IW declining by 1.7 points in October 2023, still the DA can be 50% from January 2024. However, the chances of it becoming 51%, as it was probable till last month, is less.
A hike in DA beyond 50% would have additional benefits for central government employees, as it would also lead to an increase in allowances such as HRA, CEA, and others.
Earlier this month, the government hiked DA to 46% from July 2023. This was welcomed by central government employees, who had been demanding a DA hike for several months.
For the calculation of the DA, CPI-IW indices for 12 months, i.e. January 2023 to December 2024 are required. The indices for three more months are required to calculate the exact DA. Based on the indices till September 2023, the expected DA for central government employees from January 2024 is almost certain to cross 50%. This is an increase of 4 percentage points from the current DA of 46%.
Central government employees are also waiting for the constitution of the 8th Pay Commission. The 7th Pay Commission was constituted in 2014 and the recommendations were implemented in 2016, and it is nearing due for a revision.
The 8th Pay Commission is expected to recommend a significant hike in salaries and allowances for central government employees. This would be a major boost for the morale and productivity of the central government workforce.
In addition to a DA hike and the constitution of the 8th Pay Commission, central government employees are also demanding other benefits, such as better working conditions, improved healthcare facilities, and more housing options.
The government has taken some steps to address the demands of central government employees. However, there is still a lot more that needs to be done.
The government should continue to engage with central government employees and address their concerns. This is essential to ensure that the central government workforce remains motivated and productive.