Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today announced an increment of the Dearness Allowance of state government employees by 7%. Addressing a press conference at Nabanna the CM made the announcement.
The CM said that after she came to power there has been a hike of nearly 30% in DA for which the state has to shell out 9000 crore from the state treasury. She said that the additional 7% hike in the DA would alone cost around 2100 crore.
“We are passing through a tough time because of the legacy of debt burden left by the erstwhile LF government. We have to pay an amount of Rs 28,000 crore annually towards debt servicing. Somehow we manage to pay salaries to the employees,” Banerjee said.
She also said that DA is increased by Centre every time before the elections but for Bengal Government the case is totally different. She said, “We may have political freedom but no Economic freedom.”
Blaming the previous left regime for the poor economic condition of the state, the CM asked the reporter not to draw any comparison with Gujarat and Maharastra. She said, “Gujarat has developed over the last 20 years and Mumbai is the financial capital of India. Who is responsible for it? The previous left front Government.”
Saying that the Central Government possesses ‘money making machine’, Banerjee demanded that the Centre should bear the expenses of providing DAs to state Government employees whenever it increases the DA of its own employees.
She said that chief secretary Sanjay Mitra had written to the Central Government for making necessary allocations to the state for providing DA to its employees but there was no reply from Centre. “We keep writing to the Centre on many cases, but the Centre hardly bothers about giving any reply,” she said.
The announcement comes a day after the conclusion of Bengal Global Business Summit held in Kolkata. The event was termed successful by the ruling party which was attended by numerous industrialists including Adi Godrej and Sanjiv Goenka.