Cong demands immediate release of pending dearness allowance to govt employees
The Congress on Saturday hit out at the government for not releasing the dearness allowance suspended last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, calling the suspension of its three instalments “cruel and insensitive”. It demanded immediate restoration of the allowance.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said the government should ensure that employees and pensioners receive the “actual real arrears”.
The three instalments were due in January 2020, July 2020, and January 2021.
Singhvi said the decision to cut the allowance until June 2021 would give the government only ₹38,000 crores at the cost of its employees, including armed forces personnel and pensioners.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has deducted ₹11,000 crore of the 15-lakh (1.5 million) serving armed forces personnel and nearly 26 lakh (2.6 million) military pensioners. What is their fault?”
He said the cut was made retrospective in April. “But does not the government understand that people needed the money during the Covid-19 crisis?”
He said the delay in the release of allowance is a reflection of the government’s “innate hypocrisy and double standards”. He said, on one hand, it talks about nationalism and on the other hand does not release the allowance and arrears of the employees serving the nation.
He slammed the Central Vista project again. “They are cutting DA, but a penny would not cut from the Central Vista project budget or the bullet train budget because somebody’s ego is paramount.”
Bhartiya Janata Party leader Gopal Agarwal said the government’s first priority is the welfare of the people. “The government will take an appropriate decision after considering all the aspects,” he said in response to the Congress demands.
The Centre in March announced that central government employees and pensioners will receive full benefits of the allowance from July 1. It said all three pending instalments will be restored.