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Rs 800-crore loan to meet interim relief, DA liability

The Himachal Government will raise loans of Rs 800 crores from open market  to meet the liability to be accrued on account of the grant of 4 per cent each of interim relief and dearness allowance (DA) to its employees payable in September. The Finance Department today issued the notification with regard to the raising of the Rs 800 crore loan for a period of 10 years, which will help the government to pay in cash the 4 per cent interim relief on September 1,  payable from August 1, to its employees. The total debt trap on the Himachal Government has already crossed Rs 40,000 crores, aggravating the already grim financial health of the state. This amount will be deposited in the government treasury by August 23. The total interim relief granted by the Himachal Government to its employees is 9 per cent as 5 per cent enhancement had been given earlier only. Even though it has been pointed out that the loan is being raised to meet the allocation for developmental activities and routine expenditure, the amount is required to be able to meet this liability of DA and interim relief of 4 per cent each. As per the office memorandum of the Finance Department issued on August 4, the enhanced interim relief and DA will be granted only to the regular employees working in various departments. As far as the various public sector undertakings (PSU), boards, corporations, universities and autonomous are concerned, they will take a decision only after taking into consideration their resource position. There are about two lakh regular government employees in Himachal and a major portion of the budget is spent on meeting the salary and pensionary liability. The total amount of interim relief will be absorbed in the future revision of pay scales to be allowed by the state government.Normally, Himachal follows Punjab in granting relief and enhancement to its employees. However, though Punjab is yet to take a call on it and no final decision has been taken, Himachal has granted 4 per cent interim relief.

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