M A I N   N E W S

2 pc additional DA for Central staff
Cabinet clears DA merger
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal to merge 50 per cent of dearness allowance (DA) with the basic pay of the Central Government employees. The Cabinet also announced a subsidised insurance scheme for 12.18 lakh Anganwadi workers.

The Cabinet also approved the release of additional dearness allowance (DA) to government employees and dearness relief (DR) to the pensioners as due from January 1, 2004, in cash at the rate of 2 per cent over the existing rate of 59 per cent.

The Cabinet, which met today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also approved a Rs 1,856-crore polio-eradication programme spread over a period of three years.

The decision to merge 50 per cent DA with the basic salary is in line with the announcements made by Finance Minister Jaswant Singh during his Interim Budget speech earlier this month.

The insurance scheme will extend coverage to Anganwadi workers involving an annual premium of Rs 280. Of this, Rs 100 each would be paid by the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India and the Central Government as subsidy.

Under the scheme, each worker would be provided a cover of Rs 50,000 for death in accident or permanent total disability due to accident.

Death other than by accident would have a cover of Rs 20,000.

Anganwadi workers in the age group of 18 to 60 years will be eligible for the scheme. The honorarium has already been increased to Rs 1,000 per worker per month, while that of a helper has been increased to Rs 500 per month.

The Cabinet also approved a Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyala (KGBV) scheme which will entail the setting up of residential schools for girls belonging to the SC, ST, OBC categories and minority communities for imparting elementary education up to fifth standard.

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