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Freezing DA/DR hike 'insensitive, inhumane', govt should shelve bullet train: Rahul Gandhi

Freezing DA/DR hike insensitive, inhumane, govt should shelve bullet train: Rahul Gandhi

A day after the government decided to freeze the increment in dearness allowance (DA) and dearness relief (DR) for central government employees and pensioners till July 2021, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi termed the move as "insensitive" and "inhumane".

The Wayanad MP further said instead of "hurting" the middle-class employees and pensioners, the government should shelve bullet train and Central Vista redevelopment projects to save money for the coronavirus fight.

"It is insensitive and inhumane on the part of the government to cut the DA of central employees, pensioners and jawans who are serving the public while fighting coronavirus, instead of suspending the bullet train project and the Central Vista beautification project of lakhs of crores (of rupees)," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

On Thursday, the central government had put on hold the increment in DA for 48 lakh central government employees and DR for 65 lakh pensioners till July 2021. While the increase is being held back, DA and DR at current rates will continue to be paid.

Government sources said the savings on account of freezing of these instalments of DA and DR to central government employees and pensioners would be Rs 37,530 crore in the current financial year and 2021-22.

"The unprecedented situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has placed huge additional demands on government finances. There is need for major increase in the expenditure on health as well as on welfare measures for various affected sections of society including the poor and vulnerable," the sources said, justifying the decision.

(Inputs from theindianexpress.com)

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