New Delhi: The Union Cabinet is likely to approve hiking dearness allowance to 100 per cent from existing 90 per cent benefiting 50 lakh employees and 30 lakh pensioners in it meeting scheduled on Friday. "The Union Cabinet will take a proposal to hike Dearness allowance for its employees and dearness relief for its pensioners to 100 per cent this Friday as per agenda listed for the meeting," a source said. This increase in the dearness allowance by the UPA II government comes ahead of the imposition of the model code of conduct by the Election Commission. The model code of conduct is likely to come into force with the announcement of the schedule for the forthcoming general elections in a week or so. Also it would be the second double digit DA hike in a row. The government had announced a hike of 10 per cent to 90 per cent in September last year, effective from July 1, 2013. The hike in DA would be effective from the January 1 this year. As per practice, the government uses Consumer Price Index- Industrial Workers data of the past 12 months to arrive at a quantum for the purpose of any DA hike. Thus, the retail inflation for industrial workers between January 1 to December 31, 2013 would be used to take a final call on the matter. According to the provisional data released by government on January 31, the retail inflation for factory workers for the month of December stood at 9.13 per cent. The revised retail inflation data for January would be released on February 28. An official said that the preliminary assessment suggests that DA hike will not be less than 10 per cent and would be effective from January 1 this year.
Around 50 percent of over 3.6 million voters cast their ballots Wednesday in the bypolls for two Lok Sabha seats from Karnataka, an official said.
Political leaders cut across party lines on Friday to condemn the gangrape of a photojournalist in Mumbai.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP N Harikrishna has resigned from the Rajya Sabha to protest against the formation of Telangana.
An all-out factional war has broken out between Harshvardhan and Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel, with both vying for the Chief Minister's post if the party comes to power.
It is a crucial day for the Congress in Karnataka as by-polls began in Mandya and Bangalore Rural constituencies on Wednesday.
Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said the platform alone cannot help win elections but gives new options of reaching out to public.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre was neither concerned about the economy nor the falling rupee but only worried about saving its chair.