personal finance

Govt offers staff Rs 10,000 festival advance to spend up to March 31, 2021

In its bid to boost consumption in an economy hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has announced a special festival advance scheme for central government employees. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during a press conference on Monday, said as part of this advance scheme central government employees and officers will get an interest-free festival advance of Rs 10,000. The repayment of this advance will have to be made in 10 installments by the employee. Further, these employees will get pre-loaded Rupay Cards of the advance value which they can utilise for digital payments by up to March 31, 2021.

Here are the specified conditions related to the special festival advance scheme as listed out by the finance minister during her press conference on Monday:

  • Festival advance along with other similar advances were abolished on the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission. It is proposed to restore the Festival Advance to Government employees for festivals up to 31.3.2021
  • Interest-free advance of Rs. 10,000/- to be recoverable in maximum 10 instalments
  • Rs 4,000 crore expected to be disbursed
  1. If given by all State Governments, another Rs. 8000 crores is likely to be disbursed; assuming 50% adoption by states estimate is Rs. 4000 crores
  2. No permanent increase in government expenditure—advance will be recovered
  • Additional consumer demand generated will be Rs. 8,000 crore.
  • Employees will get pre-loaded Rupay Card of the advance value.
  • Government will bear Bank charges in this regard
  • Ensures digital mode of payment, resulting in tax revenue and encouraging honest businesses

Other than the special festival advance scheme, the government has also announced an LTC cash voucher scheme.
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As per the government, the two proposals are designed in a way that they can stimulate demand in a fiscally prudent way by advancing/front-loading some of the expenditures with some off setting charges later.


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