NEW DELHI: After the government's decision to halt increment hike in dearness allowance for all Central government employees and pensioners, the Congress on Friday called the move "insensitive and inhumane".
The party 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 COVID-19 fight in the country.
"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.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has asked government to curtail 30 per cent of its own expenses and shelve the Central Vista redevelopment.
"The government of India, instead of helping people by giving them financial support in this crisis, is hurting them. Instead of curtailing its own wasteful expenditures, the government is cutting the money of the middle class people," he told an online press conference.
The government on Thursday froze inflation-linked allowance for its 1.1 crore employees and pensioners, a move states are likely to replicate, helping save a combined Rs 1.2 lakh crore that could be used to combat the coronavirus crisis. The Finance Ministry has decided to put on hold increment in dearness allowance (DA) for 50 lakh central government employees and 61 lakh pensioners till July 2021, however, DA and dearness relief (DR) at current rates will continue to be paid.