Lucknow: Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have asked the BJP government in the state to reconsider the decision of putting on hold increment in dearness allowance (DA) for its 16 lakh employees due to continued lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak.
Toeing the Centre's line, the Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday decided to freeze DA hike for its employees. The increase in the inflation-linked allowance was due from January 1, 2020.
The state government has also decided not to pay the DA instalments which will be due from July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021. In a statement issued here on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said, "The decision taken by the Uttar Pradesh government to put on hold dearness allowance (DA) increase for its employees is impractical. The state government should reconsider its decision."
The BJP government should not snatch the rights of staff, pensioners, Lallu said. Echoing similar sentiments, Leader of Opposition in UP Legislative Assembly Ram Gobind Chaudhary also asked the state government to review its decision.
The Samajwadi Party leader said, "The UP government should reconsider its decision, which is impractical. This decision will lower the morale of the government employees, who are rendering their services in the fight against COVID-19." According to the a state government order, employees and pensioners will, however, continue to get the DA and dearness relief (DR) as per the rates of July 1, 2019. It would be revived on July 1, 2021 at the prevailing rates at that time.
Besides freezing the DA, the government has also stopped six types of allowances given to the employees of different departments. The allowances that have been stopped are city compensatory allowance, secretariat allowance and special allowance to police, PWD and irrigation department staff.
The order stated that the allowances have been stopped in view of the fall in state's revenue due to continued lockdown following coronavirus outbreak and for making resources available to deal with the pandemic.
The central government had on Thursday frozen the inflation-linked allowance for its 1.1 crore employee and pensioners, helping save a combined Rs 1.2 lakh crore that could be used to combat the corornavirus crisis.