Despite the pressure of over two lakh crore debt, the West Bengal government today announced it would clear 50 per cent of arrear payment to its employees after October 1 as per state's 5th Pay Commission recommendation. "The erstwhile Left Front government failed to give anything to employees despite the announcement of the pay commission. We gave 50 per cent arrears last year soon after we came to power, while the rest 50 per cent arrear will be given before Durgapuja this year," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. "This will result in a burden of about Rs 500 crore, but we are committed to clear the dues this year," the chief minister said after a discussion with Finance Minister Amit Mitra. The erstwhile LF government had announced the implementation of the 5th pay Commission recommendation effective from April 1, 2009. Simultaneously, announcing the festival ad-hoc bonus for the government employees and pensioners this year, Banerjee said that the festival bonus of Rs 2100 last year, both for Id-Ul-Fitr and Durgapuja, has been increased to Rs 2,500 this year. Festival bonus for pensioners has also been enhanced to Rs 900 this year from Rs 800 last year, she said. An instalment of 7 per cent arrear in DA would also be cleared by January next year, Banerjee said. The ceiling for the bonus has been raised to Rs 22,000 from Rs 20,000 last year. "This will entail an additional burden of Rs 450 crore on the state government," she said.