The Coronavirus pandemic has brought economic activities to a halt, affecting the revenue of the Centre and state governments who now have to deploy more resources to fight the pandemic.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked the central government for freezing the additional Dearness Allowance (DA) to its employees and and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners. He said it was an “insensitive and inhumane” decision to cut allowances of those who are fighting Coronavirus. “Instead of suspending the multi-million crore bullet train project and the Central Vista beautification project, the government’s decision to cut the DA of central employees, pensioners and jawans serving the people by fighting corona is insensitive and inhumane,” the former Congress chief said.
The remark came just a day after the Centre decided to freeze an additional installment of DA to its employees and DR to pensioners. In a statement issued on Thursday, the Finance ministry said: “In view of the crisis out of COVID-19, it has been decided that the additional installment of Dearness Allowance payable to central government employees and Dearness Relief to central government pensioners due from 1st January shall not be paid. The additional installments of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief due from 1st July 2020 and 1st January 2021 shall also not be paid.” The Centre, however, said that dearness allowance and dearness relief at current rates will continue to be paid.
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought economic activities to a halt, affecting the revenue of the Centre and state governments who now have to deploy more resources to fight the pandemic. The Centre also has to help a section of people and business enterprises financially to survive the lockdown crisis. To mobilise the resources to fight the Coronavirus, the Centre has in the recent past taken a slew of measures like announcing pay cuts and suspending MPLAD funds. Various state governments ruled by different political parties have also announced pay cuts for government employees to mobilise resources to fight COVID-19.