Chennai, April 30:
The Association of Former Central Committee Members of SBSU has sought the Union government to withdraw the freeze in hike in Dearness Allowance (DA) given to Central government employees and DA relief to pensioners till June 30, 2021 as it felt that it would put both the employees and pensioners in a tight spot.
In a statement issued by the association president S P Raman stated that the arbitrary decision taken by Central government will affect 48 lakh Central government employees (including Armed Forces personnel) besides 65 lakh pensioners, who are solely dependent on it.Expressing concern over DA hike being kept on hold for 18 months, he said that this would put the Central government employees and pensioners to financial hardship resulting in mental agony since a major chunk of pensioners are senior citizens’, who mostly rely on their pensionary benefits. No denying the fact that both the Central and State governments were straining their nerves to combat COVID-19 spread thru’ various preventive measures, he said adding that the service of frontline workers like doctors, nurses and healthcare workers besides police personnel, revenue department staff in containing the dreaded disease is something extraordinary.
Pointing out that the worst hit would be 65 lakh odd Central government pensioners and 7 lakh Tamil Nadu government pensioners, he stated that putting on hold DA hike and relief would put pensioners to untold hardships as majority of the pensioners due to oldage will find it extremely difficult to meet their medical expenses every month. Already, pensioners had to bear the brunt of reduction in interest rate for FDs as most of them had deposited their retirement benefits in banks. Like pouring oil to fire, Raman stated that the DA hike being postponed till June 2021 has come as a rude shock to government employees and pensioners. Keeping in view of the welfare of government employees and pensioners, he sought the Central government to withdraw the decision and to extend DA hike at this hour of crisis.