Centre announces Rs 3,737 crore bonus for 30.67 lakh non-gazetted employees

The bonus, to be given in a week's time, will encourage the middle-class to spend and add to the demand in the economy, Javadekar said

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar file photo (PTI)

In a Vijayadashami gift to over 30 lakh central non-gazetted employees, the government on Wednesday announced Rs 3,737 crore bonus intended to boost festive demand.

The beneficiaries include 17 lakh non-gazetted employees from state-owned establishments such as railways, postal department, EPFO and ESIC. This will be a productivity-linked bonus. Rs 2,791 crore is allocated to them. Another 13 lakh employees will get non-productivity-linked bonus, for which the government has assigned Rs 946 crore.

The bonus comes a few days after the railway workers association had warned they would block rail movement if their productivity-linked bonus was not released before Vijayadashami.

“Money in the hands of the middle class will push demand in the market,” said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, announcing the bonus after the Cabinet meeting.

He said the bonus will be given in a single installment through direct benefit transfer (DBT) before Vijayadashami.

Last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced two schemes -- LTC cash voucher scheme and special festival advance scheme for Central and public sector employees that intended to give a demand push of Rs 73,000 crore.

Payment of bonus to non-gazetted employees for their performance in the preceding year is usually made before Vijayadashami.

After the government had announced suspension of dearness allowance for central government employees soon after the pandemic hit the nation, there were concerns on whether the government will offer bonus.

However, depressed demand conditions have forced the government to announce several benefits to its employees in the past about 10 days.