Coronavirus India Updates: Govt freezes Dearness Allowance at current rates till July 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19) India News Updates: A month into the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the total number of Covid-19 cases in India rose to 21,393, including 16,454 active cases, 4,257 recoveries and 681 deaths. Despite the high number of cases added in the last few days, the spread of the disease has slowed down considerably as a result of the lockdown.
The Ministry of Finance issued a notification this afternoon freezing Dearness Allowance to its employees and Dearness Relief to pensioners at current rates till July 2021. The additional installments, due on January 1, 2020, July 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021 will not be paid. However, DA and DR at current rates will continue to be paid.
The government is likely to save Rs. 37,530 crore in the Financial Year 2020-21 and 2021-22 on account of this decision, sources told The Indian Express. As state governments normally follow the Centre's orders on DA/DR, it is estimated that states could save Rs. 82,566 crore by implementing similar orders. Thus, the total anticipated saving of the Centre and states will be Rs. 1.20 lakh crore, which will be used to fight the Covid-19 battle and its fallout.
In other news, a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was held this morning, during which party president Sonia Gandhi said an extension of the lockdown would be even more devastating as it has caused acute hardship and distress to society. She also noted that the pandemic has increased "disturbingly", both in spread and speed over the last three week. During the meeting, former PM Manmohan Singh said the key to success against the virus was cooperation between the Centre and states.
Globally, the number of cases is over 2.6 million, with at least 1.8 lakh deaths. In the United States, which has been worst hit by the virus, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will temporarily suspend the issuance of certain green cards for 60 days. Hoping that the US will review its decision to halt the funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to continue investing in preparedness.
(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)
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