The Congress on Friday slammed the Narendra Modi government for freezing the dearness allowances (DA) of the employees of the central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) and called the move another sign of a ‘sinking economy’ that will further dent demand.

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Former party chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted that government employees are ‘battered’ with food inflation touching 11.1 %.

“Food inflation rises to 11.1%! But the Modi government is freezing instead of increasing the DA of Central PSU employees. Condition of government employees have been battered. But capitalist ‘friends’ are busy in making profits!,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

He also alleged that MGNREGA workers are finding it difficult to even get their earnings from banks.

“First the lockdown that brought millions of workers on the road. Then their only support — earnings from MGNREGA was made difficult to withdraw from the bank. Modi government only talks, as it is crushing the rights of the poor,”Mr. Gandhi said, tagging a news report that cited a survey reporting that MGNREGA labourers were finding it tough to withdraw their earnings from banks.

At a virtual press conference, Congress spokesperson Surpriya Shrinate said the decision to freeze the DA of CPSE employees until next June will further hit demand and described it as an “irresponsible step”.

“The freezing of DA of PSU employees is yet another sign of a sinking economy. It is clear that PSUs are not making money and which is why the dearness allowance of their employees has now been frozen. The economy is spinning out of control and everyone is in trouble,” Ms. Shrinate said.

Instead of reviving demand by supporting incomes of people, the government is determined to reduce the purchasing capacity of even those with assured incomes like government employees, she said.

“Modi government’s economic mismanagement and the steps it is taking now will further destroy demand and dent consumption,” she said, adding that the DA freeze will impact over 14.5 lakh employees across 339 central PSEs.

On Thursday, the Department of Public Enterprises had announced freezing of additional instalments of DA for executives and non-unionised supervisors of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) drawing salaries under certain pay scales till June 30, 2021.



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