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Published On: Sat, Apr 25th, 2020

Former PM Manmohan Singh slams Centre’s decision to freeze DA

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former-prime-minister-mManmohan-singhNEW DELHI : Former prime minister and noted economist Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday slammed the Central government’s decision to freeze Dearness Allowance(DA) and Dearness Relief hike till July 2021 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I sincerely believe it is not necessary at this stage to impose hardships on government servants and also on the armed forces people,” said Manmohan Singh in the video posted by the Congress on Saturday. “We should be on the side of people whose Dearness Allowances are being cut,” said the 87-year-old two-time Prime Minister.
DA is an allowance that every government employee gets and is calculated as a proportion of the basic salary. The Dearness Allowance is paid to the government employees and pensioners to offset the inflation impact and help them cope up with the rising prices. The allowance was increased from 17 per cent to 21 per cent and was to be effective from January 1, 2020.
The Congress party posted a video its consultative group meeting on its official Twitter handle in which several party leaders expressed their concerns over the Modi government’s decision. whose video was released by the party on Saturday.
The Finance Ministry on Thursday paused the hike in Dearness Allowance (DA) for central government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) for pensioners till July next year. No arrears will be paid either, said the ministry. The move will help save Rs 37,350 crore in financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22.
“In view of the crisis arising out of COVID-19, it has been decided that the additional instalment of dearness allowance payable to Central Government employees and dearness relief to Central Government pensioners, due from January 1, 2020, shall not be paid,” the Finance Ministry order said. However, Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief at current rates will continue to be paid.
In a notification on the subject, the government said the move will help save Rs 37,350 crore in financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22. A similar move will save states Rs 82,566 crores, making for a combined saving of Rs 1.20 lakh crores, the notification said.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi lashed out at Modi  government for freezing DA, DR hike saying that the problem was with the Centre’s going ahead with the central vista redevelopment project.
“You are taking away money from the middle class, you are not giving money to the poor people and you are spending it on your central vista,” Wayanad MP told the meeting. Rahul Gandhi, who had earlier called the move “inhuman and insensitive”, raised what he called extravagance in projects like the Central Vista beautification in Delhi.
“It is an insensitive and inhumane decision of the government to cut DA (Dearness Allowance) of central employees, pensioners and soldiers serving the public while battling coronavirus, instead of suspending the multi-million crore bullet train project and the Central Vista beautification project,”  Gandhi had tweeted on Friday, roughly translated from Hindi.

“We can make the point that when you have not cut back expenditure on bullet train, on the central vista development…those are the programmes which should first be put on halt, before you halt people’s DA,” said P Chidambaram, a former finance minister.

Some Rs 20,000 crore has been sanctioned for the Central Vista redevelopment project to revamp the parliament complex among others. Rs 5,600 crore has been allotted for a bullet train project linking financial capital Mumbai with Gujarat’s Ahmedabad by 2022, to mark the 75th year of Independence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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