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Freezing of DA insensitive, inhumane; govt. should shelve bullet train, Central Vista projects: Congress

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. | File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Congress on Friday accused the Central government of “hurting” its employees and pensioners by freezing their Dearness Allowance (DA) and Dearness Relief (DR) instead of cutting down on “wasteful expenditure” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Former party chief Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to term the government move “insensitive and inhuman”.

 

In a tweet in Hindi, he said that instead of suspending the bullet train project and the Central Vista beautification project, costing lakhs of crores [of rupees], the government had taken an insensitive and inhuman decision to cut the DA of its employees, pensioners and jawans, who are serving the public by fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

At an online press conference, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala echoed his leader. “Instead of curbing its wasteful expenditure, the government has been constantly hitting at the income of its employees and the middle class people,” he said.

 

 

‘At what cost?’

 

Mr. Surjewala said that the decision to cut the DA allowance until June 2021 would give the government only ₹38,000 crore at the cost of its employees, including armed forces personnel and pensioners.

 

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji has deducted ₹11,000 crore of the 15 lakh serving armed forces personnel and nearly 26 lakh military pensioners. What is their fault,” he asked.

 

“Modiji, on the one side you are telling the State governments, as also the private sector, not to cut wages and salaries. On the other side, you yourself are cutting the DA and DR worth ₹38,000 crore of 113 lakh Central employees and pensioners. Is it not an indicator of the entire private sector of the country to follow suit and cut wages and allowances of their employees? Is it not an indication to the State governments?” Mr. Surjewala said.

 

In the past one month, the government had slashed the interest rates of small savings instruments, savings bank accounts and fixed deposits of public sector banks, hurting the common people who depend on the incomes from their savings, he said.

 

 

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 11:20:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/freezing-of-da-insensitive-inhumane-govt-should-shelve-bullet-train-central-vista-projects-congress/article31424056.ece

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