The Centre on Wednesday announced bonus for more than 30 lakh government employees. Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the total financial implication of the decision or cost to the exchequer will be Rs 3,737 crore.

Javadekar also said the amount will be disbursed before Dussehra through direct benefit transfer. The decision to approve the bonus was taken in a Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday to encourage spending during the festival season.

According to Hindustan Times, there was apprehension among government employees over the bonus announcement which is usually made every year before Dussehra. However, this year the employees were uncertain due to the financial constraints due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The All India Railways Federation had even called for a nationwide two-hour strike on October 22, demanding immediate disbursal of the bonus, the newspaper reported.

Owing to pressure on the state exchequer, in April the finance ministry had announced a hold on hike in dearness allowance for central government employees and dearness relief for pensioners till July next year.