Cabinet to take up stock-limit extension today

Cabinet to take up stock-limit extension today

The cabinet is meeting today to consider a proposal to extend stock holding limit on pulses, edible oils and oil seeds for one more year beyond September 30,2013 to ensure their availability and check prices.

A proposal to this effect was moved by the Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

The objective is to enable state governments to continue taking effective de-hoarding steps under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 by fixing stock limits.

The Cabinet is also likely to approve a proposal to hike dearness allowance for government employees and pensioners to 90% from existing 80% of basic pay and house rent allowance. The move would benefit about five million central government employees and three million pensioners.

The hike would be effective retrospectively from July 1, this year.

Officials said the increase in DA to 90% would result in additional annual expenditure of Rs 10,879 crore on the exchequer. However, there would be additional burden of Rs 6,297 crore on exchequer during 2013-14 on account of this hike in DA.

There would be a double digit percentage point hike in DA after about three years, due to rise in prices as reflected in the consumer price index for industrial workers. It was last in September, 2010, that the government had announced a hike of 10% to be given with effect from July 1, 2010.

DA was hiked to 80% from 72% in April, 2013, effective from January 1, this year.



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