Launching a scathing attack at the Modi government over hiking the Dearness Allowance (DA) of its employees, the state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said: “The state government could have also given a hike in DA to the state government employees if it did not allot the money required for continuing the development projects.”
This comes at the time when the gap between the DA of the state and central government employees went up to 56 per cent with the Centre’s announcement on Thursday to hike 2 per cent in the DA of its employees.
Chatterjee said on Friday that the Centre has given the hike to the employees by not sending the money for 39 different projects in the state. The state would have also increased the DA of its employees by bringing the development projects to a standstill.
In the same breath he said that the state government needs to repay the loan of the erstwhile Left Front government. A huge amount gets drained out of the state’s exchequer to clear the loan. “But the state government is always with its employees. I would like to say that today’s pain is tomorrow’s gain,” Chatterjee said adding that the state government is facing trouble to increase the DA just because of the Centre. The reason being that the Centre has reduced allocation of funds for different projects. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had raised her voice several times saying that earlier the Centre used to bear major portion of a project’s cost. Now it has become just the opposite. The state needs to invest a major portion of a project cost while the Centre gives 10 to 15 per cent.
Taking a dig at the Centre for the Diwali gift to its employees by hiking the DA, Chatterjee said that the state government would not follow the path of the Centre to stop the development projects.
“I would like to tell the residents of the state that Mamata Banerjee’s government is always with them. The state has to clear its debt and those who are raising question on the delay in increasing the DA are also aware of the fact,” he said.
It may be mentioned that the state government had constituted the Sixth Pay Commission almost a year ago to give its recommendation for reconstruction of the salary structure of the state government employees. On Thursday, the Commission had sought an extension of a year to submit its recommendation.