Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced reintroduction of festival advance of Rs 10,000 for central government employees. This money will be given to central government employees in a prepaid Rupay Card.
The charges about issuance of card will be borne by the government. The money so received by employees cannot be withdrawn in cash. It has to be spent using digital means. This festival advance is available to all employees of central government including the ones who are non-gazetted.
This will be an interest-free advance and need to be repaid in 10 instalments. State governments have the option of offering festival advance on the lines of festival advance offered by central governments. Festival advance of Rs 4,500 was available for employees in non-gazetted officers and below ranks as per sixth pay commission.
It was done away with the introduction of seventh pay commission. Today's announcement offers festival advance only for the current financial year and the money so received needs to be spent before March 31, 2020