Tamil Nadu

Stalin announces 3% hike in DA for T.N. govt. employees, pensioners

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at the hoisting of the national flag at Fort St. George in Chennai on Monday.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at the hoisting of the national flag at Fort St. George in Chennai on Monday. | Photo Credit: RAGHUNATHAN SR

A 3% hike in Dearness Allowance for State government employees and pensioners, an increase in the monthly pension for freedom fighters and their descendants and setting up of an 'Independence Day Museum' in Chennai were among the major announcements made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin during his Independence Day address on Monday.

Hoisting the national flag on the ramparts of the Fort St. George in Chennai, Mr. Stalin said the 3% hike in DA would be granted with effect from July 1 this year. The hike would cost the exchequer a sum of ₹1,947.60 crore and would benefit over 16 lakh employees and pensioners.

The monthly pension granted by the State government to freedom fighters would be increased from ₹18,000 to ₹20,000 and the family pension would be revised from ₹9,000 to ₹10,000 from August 15.

The special monthly pension granted to descendants of freedom fighters Veera Pandiya Kattabomman, Sivaganga Marudhupandiyar Brothers, Sivaganga Muthuramalinga Vijayaraghunatha Sethupathi, V.O. Chidambaranar would be revised from from ₹9,000 to ₹10,000, Mr. Stalin said.

Recalling the freedom struggle through non-violent means and the sacrifice of several freedom fighters led by Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated ahimsa throughout his life, Mr. Stalin observed: "When Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by religious fundamentalists, Thanthai Periyar [E.V. Ramasamy], who initially fought for the country's freedom and later for social freedom, said the country should be named 'Gandhi Desam'."

Mr. Stalin also recalled that former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was instrumental in Chief Ministers getting the right to hoist the national flag on Independence Day in 1974. He also recalled the inspiring speech by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, when the national flag was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on July 22, 1947.

As the country celebrated 75th year of Independence, the Chief Minister said he bowed before the sacrifices of numerous freedom fighters and their families. The first voice calling for freedom came from Tamil Nadu in the entire Indian sub-continent, Mr. Stalin said and recalled Pulithevan's defiance against the East India Company as early as 1755.

Recalling various instances of defiance by rulers in Tamil Nadu during the 1700s and 1800s, Mr. Stalin contended: "These were incidents even before 1857. Some say that the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny was the 'First Battle of India's Freedom'. But, these incidents happened in the South even before."

Listing out various steps taken by the DMK governments over the years in the spirit of patriotic fervour, Mr. Stalin said ₹6 crore was contributed by then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during India's war against Pakistan in 1971 to liberate Bangladesh.

Mr. Stalin said he took a pledge in the shade of the national flag to remain true to the people of Tamil Nadu. Calling for unity among people, he said: "Though there are differences, unity will protect India. If we are to win over attacks by external forces, internal unity is essential."

Earlier, Mr. Stalin arrived in Fort St. George and received the ceremonial salute after which he inspected the guard of honour in an open vehicle. Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu introduced senior officers of the Indian Armed Forces to the Chief Minister. Assembly Speaker M. Appavu, Council of Ministers, senior officers of the State government, members of the Consular corps and the general public witnessed the hoisting of the national flag on the Secretariat campus.

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Printable version | Aug 27, 2022 10:12:35 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stalin-announces-3-hike-in-da-for-tn-govt-employees-pensioners/article65771126.ece