Special Festival Advance Scheme which was meant for non-gazetted government employees is being revived as a one-time measure, for gazetted employees too. All central govt. employees can now get interest-free advance of Rs. 10,000, in the form of a prepaid RuPay Card, to be spent by March 31, 2021.
The one-time disbursement of Special Festival Advance Scheme is expected to amount to Rs. 4,000 crore; if given by all state governments, another Rs. 8,000 crore is expected to be disbursed. Employees can spend this on any festival.
Special Festival Advance Scheme
- 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
- 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
- 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