Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 24
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Maken along with a large number of party workers will sit on a daylong dharna tomorrow at Jantar Mantar seeking merger of Dearness Allowance (DA) with basic pay and also to oppose the move by the BJP-led Central Government to lower the retirement age of government employees.
DPCC chief spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee said party workers, government employees, teachers, pensioners and others will join Maken in the dharna to press their demand for merger of DA with basic pay and also to oppose the move to lower the retirement age of government employees.
Addressing a press conference, Mukherjee said the Congress would be seeking the merger of 100 per cent DA with basic pay, which is 113 per cent as on January 1, 2015. The Congress-led UPA II government was to take a decision on merger of DA with basic pay, but due to the announcement of the general elections, it had to be deferred.
She said the BJP-led Narendra Modi government was now trying to drastically curb non-plan expenditure, for which the Central government employees, academicians and scientists, etc have been made soft targets as the salaries and allowances of the government employees had touched Rs 2.54 lakh crore during the financial year 2013-2014, and another Rs 74,076 crore was spent in the same period on pensioners and family pensioners.
About 80 per cent expenses on salary and allowances are spent on Railways, Defence, paramilitary forces, posts and revenue, and thus it is apparent that 80 per cent non-plan expenses are incurred on vital organizations.
She also said the Modi government was trying to lower the retirement age from 60 to 58 years.
"The BJP government at the Centre is keen to reduce the non-plan expenditure drastically and the easiest way is to prune the strength of employees and by reducing the retirement age, not merging DA with basic pay, and also to prevail upon the 7th Central Pay Commission to submit anti-government employees' report," Mukherjee added.
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