Festival Advance Scheme: The government is offering staff a festival advance of Rs 10,000 to be spent until March 31, 2021


In its bid to revive consumption in an economy hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has announced a special festival advance scheme for central government employees. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a press conference on Monday, said that under this advance scheme, central government employees and officers will receive an interest-free festival advance of Rs 10,000. The reimbursement of this advance must be made in 10 installments by the employee. In addition, these employees will receive Rupay cards preloaded with the value of the advance which they can use for digital payments until March 31, 2021.

Here are the specified conditions related to the special advance scheme for festivals as listed by the Minister of Finance during her press conference on Monday:

  • The festival advance as well as other similar advances have been removed on the recommendations of the 7th Salary Commission. It is proposed to return the Avance Festival to State agents for festivals until 31.3.2021
  • Interest-free advance of Rs. 10,000/- to be recovered in 10 installments maximum
  • Rs 4,000 crore is expected to be disbursed
  1. If donated by all state governments, another Rs. 8000 crores is likely to be disbursed; assuming 50% adoption by states is estimated at Rs. 4,000 crores
  2. No permanent increase in public expenditure – the advance will be recovered
  • The additional consumer demand generated will be Rs. 8,000 crores.
  • Employees will receive a Rupay card preloaded with the value of the advance.
  • The government will bear the bank charges in this regard
  • Ensures a digital mode of payment, generating tax revenue and encouraging honest business

Besides the special advance program for festivals, the government has also announced an LTC voucher program.
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According to the government, both proposals are designed to stimulate demand in a fiscally prudent way by bringing forward/pre-loading some of the expenditure with some subsequent offsetting charges.

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