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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 13 September: HAVING issued the notification yesterday for grant of 15 per cent dearness allowance with effect from January, Mamata Banerjee government today argued in Calcutta High Court that no more DA is pending to the state government employees.

Advocate general Kishore Dutta based his argument on the fact that the 15 per cent hike would take the total DA component to 100 per cent of the basic pay of the state government employees, as against the present 85 per cent.

Contesting this, Sardar Amjad Ali, who is representing an employees’ union that has moved the High Court for payment of DA at per with Central government employees, said that it was a flawed argument.

As compared to Central government employees, state government employees are now getting 55 per cent less DA and, even after the 15 per cent hike from January, the gap will stand at 40 per cent, he submitted. Ali also pointed out that the Centre was giving DA at the rate of 85 per cent of the basis pay since 2013 and hence, the state government employees are entitled to get arrears as well.

On hearing submissions from both sides, the division bench of officiating Chief Justice Nishita Nirmal Mhatra and justice Tapabrata Chakraborty while the employees should accept the 15 per cent hike notified by the government, the same would not prejudice their right to claim arrears and DA at per with the Central government employees.

The judges said that as regards the main petition for granting DA at per with the Centre, the hearing will continue. The next hearing in the matter will take place in November, they said.