Freezing of DA insensitive, inhumane; govt should shelve bullet train, Central Vista projects: Congress

​"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 be...

Agencies
Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi: Noting that it was "insensitive and inhumane" to freeze dearness allowance, the Congress on Friday 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 an insensitive and inhumane decision of the government to cut 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 asked the government to curtail 30 per cent of its own expenses and shelve the Central Vista redevelopment and bullet train projects to save money to be used to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

"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.
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Surjewala demanded that the government cut its own wasteful expenses by 30 per cent that could yield around Rs 2.5 lakh crore and take back its decision of freezing the dearness allowance and relief for employees, pensioners and defence personnel.

He also accused the government of "misconceived" priorities and policies and said on one side the prime minister is telling states and the private sector not to cut salaries of its employees and on the other, he is himself cutting the salaries of government employees.

"Is this not an indicator to the states and private sector...If this mayhem continues, how will you put money in the hands of people," he asked.

Surjewala said the government should shelve its Central Vista project of Rs 20,000 crore, of which the prime minister held a meeting even yesterday, as well as the Rs 1.10 lakh crore bullet train project and not cut the money of common people.
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"Why are you attacking the incomes of the most vulnerable sections and instead not cutting your own waste expenditure," he asked.

The Congress has been critical of the government's decision to freeze the dearness allowance of government employees from January 1, 2020 to June 30 2021.
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