Not necessary at this stage to impose hardships on govt servants: Manmohan Singh on dearness allowance freeze
“We should be on the side of people whose dearness allowance is being cut,” Singh said.
Former Prime Minister and senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh on Saturday criticised the government’s move of freezing dearness allowance and said that it wasn’t necessary to impose hardships on government servants and armed forces personnel at this stage.
“We should be on the side of people whose dearness allowance is being cut. I sincerely believe it is not necessary at this stage to impose hardships on government servants and also on the armed forces people,” Singh said.
His comments came during the Congress party’s consultative group meeting on Saturday. The video of the meet was later released by the party on its social handles.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also reacted over the matter during the meeting and said that the government’s move takes away the money from the middle class and isn’t even being given to the poor.
“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,” Gandhi said.
In its release, the Ministry of Finance on Thursday froze inflation-linked allowance till June 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis. The move will affect nearly 50 lakh central government employees and 61 lakh pensioners. However, the ministry said the Dearness Allowance (DA) and dearness relief (DR) at current rates will continue to be paid.
The Centre held back an expected increase in DA by 4 percentage points to 21% of basic pay until July 2021 and asked the states to emulate it. The Centre alone stands to save $37,300 crore by freezing the DA, HT reported on Friday; together, the Centre and the states would save Rs.1.2 lakh crore.