Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi: The government has frozen dearness allowances of employees of public sector undertakings at the current levels till Jun 30, 2021.

The dearness allowance has been frozen following "the crisis arising out of COVID-19", Department of Public Enterprises said in a circular.

As and when the government takes a decision to release future instalments of dearness allowance due from Jul 1, 2021, the rates of allowance will be restored prospectively, but no arrears will be paid, the circular said.

The latest order is applicable to executives and non-unionised supervisors of public sector companies, which follow industrial dearness allowance pay. Public sector companies largely follow this pattern. The government has already frozen dearness allowance of those public sector employees who follow central dearness allowance pay.

The latest decision impacts over 14.5 lakh employees across 339 central PSUs.

The Congress party responded to the circular by claiming this was "yet another sign of a sinking economy." The government, however, did not react to the allegation.

The allegation came in the form of a tweet from former Congress President Rahul Gandhi. "Food inflation rises to 11.1 per cent. But the Modi government is freezing DA instead of increasing it for central PSU employees. While the condition of government employees is poor, the capitalist 'friends' are happy."

Elaborating on Rahul's tweet, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said: "The economy is spinning out of control and everyone is in trouble. It is not just the unorganised sector, but even the government employees are bearing the brunt of incompetent handling of the Indian economy."

She said the skyrocketing prices and the inflation hitting a 6-year high of 7.61% amounts to salary cut for the central government employees, PSU staff, pensioners and the Armed Forces.

"Why does the Modi government not shelve discretionary and vanity expenditure like the Rs 20,000-crore Central Vista project, the Rs 1.10 lakh crore bullet train project, or cut 30 per cent of the wasteful expenditure of the government, which will come to close to Rs 2.5 lakh crore," she asked.

Supriya alleged that the DA freeze was a hint to the private sector to withhold salary hikes or appraisals. "Many state governments have already frozen DA and Dearness pay of their employees. They will perhaps now move to do so for state PSUs as well," she added.

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Free Press Journal