In a bid to put money into the hands of locked down people, the West Bengal government today announced that it was increasing its ad hoc and festival bonus for Ramzan and Durga Puja to benefit 10 lakh employees.
The cost to the exchequer will be Rs 400 crore.
Ad hoc bonus is being raised by Rs 200 and the festival advance by Rs 2000.
In a surprise move, the state government also raised the eligibility bar for those who may benefit from the hike.
Earlier, those earning up to Rs 30,000 per month would get an ad hoc bonus of Rs 4000. Now, those with a salary of Rs 34,250 will be eligible for the enhanced bonus of Rs 4,200 this year.
The festival bonus for Ramzan and Durga Puja is being increased from Rs 8,000 in 2019-20 to Rs 10,000 this year.
The salary ceiling for eligibility for the festival advance is also being increased from Rs Rs 34,250 to Rs 41,000.
Employees of panchayat and municipal bodies, universities, and schools, all contractual and casual employees are eligible. Both bonuses are extended to employees of the State undertakings, autonomous bodies and boards also.
This festival benefit will also be extended to pensioners who get up to Rs 29,700 in the form of ex-gratia of Rs 2,200.
Ex-gratia in 2019-20 was Rs 2,100 and pension ceiling was Rs 26,000.