Special Festival Advance Scheme restored by FM Nirmala Sitharaman as a one-time measure

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced restoration of the special Festival Advance Scheme for central government employees as a one-time measure. Festival advance was done away with after the recommendation of the 7th pay commission.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced restoration of the special Festival Advance Scheme for central government employees as a one-time measure. Festival advance was done away with after the recommendation of the 7th pay commission.

“It is recommended to restore festival advance to govt employees for festivals up to 31st January, 2021,” the Finance Ministry reportedly stated.

Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the government employees will get a pre-loaded Rupay card of the advance value and the scheme would be available till the end of financial year, March 31, 2021. The Festival Advance would be recoverable in a maximum of 10 instalments.

It is estimated that around Rs 4,000 crore will be disbursed. An additional consumer demand generated will be Rs 8,000 crore, assuming 50% amount is adopted by the State.

To stimulate demand in the economy, the government also announced giving cash vouchers to government employees in lieu of leave travel concession (LTC) which could only be spent on purchasing non-food GST products.