Last Updated: March 07, 2023, 10:58 IST
Kolkata [Calcutta], India
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. (PTI File Photo)
Mamata Banerjee even cited examples of BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Tripura, where DA is not given by the governments
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday reacted to the ongoing protests demanding an enhanced Dearness Allowance (DA) for West Bengal state government employees. She said the state government will not be able to provide it even if the protestors “behead” her.
Her remarks come at a time when a large section of the state government employees are demanding enhanced dearness allowance on par with that of the Central government. The Opposition BJP, Congress and the Left in the state have been demanding Dearness Allowance or DA on par with Central government employees.
Banerjee cited the difference in the salary structures of the central and West Bengal governments speaking at the extended budget session in the Assembly on Monday.
“How much do you (agitating government staffers) want? How much will satisfy you? Please chop off my head and then hopefully you will be satisfied … If you do not like me, chop off my head. But you will not get any more from me,” she said.
She even blamed the BJP-led Centre for not providing sufficient funds to Bengal. Alleging financial deprivation by the Centre, she said, “The state government is giving as much as possible. Paying DA is not mandatory. The scales of pay of central and state government employees are different. State government employees get more leaves. It will not work to get more leaves and demand more DA”.
She even cited examples of BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Tripura, where DA is not given by the governments. Pension to retired state government employees is given only in West Bengal, a PTI report quoted her as saying. She claimed that the TMC government in the state is already giving its employees DA of 105 per cent.
The Bengal government recently raised DA for its employees by three per cent in this year’s budget. It also issued a notification for DA grant to employees, pensioners and family pensioners at the rate of six per cent of their basic pay with effect from March 1, 2023, following the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.
Continuing to speak in defence of her government’s stand on the issue, Banerjee said “Does the state have a Reserve Bank? We are yet to get Rs one lakh crore from the Centre. Money will not fall from the sky. I have given government employees the opportunity to go to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Thailand,” she added.
No objection certificates are mandatory for government servants who apply for leave to go abroad on a private visit. Prior permission from the competent authority for such a visit is also required. The West Bengal government in 2015 allowed benefits under the LTC scheme to the state government employees once in ten years to visit neighbouring countries.
Some agitating government employees held a 48-hour ‘pens down’ last week in this connection ignoring warnings of action against them.
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