Business & Finance

“Govt Should Slash The 20,000 Crore Central Vista Project To Combat Pandemic”

Central Public Works Dept, which is managing the project, said in its proposal that the area currently suffers from inadequate space & infrastructure.

New Delhi| The Central Vista redevelopment project visualises a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one, a common central secretariat housing the various ministries, and a redo of the 3km Rajpath from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

Activists, policymakers, historians, opposition, economists and many other scholars have spoken about how this project should be stopped in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

One such activist, Rahul Kapoor has started a petition to withdraw the freeze in the hike of dearness allowance of central govt employees and pensioners.

Kapoor said, “If the government wants money to fight the coronavirus then they should slash the 20 thousand crores central vista project as the country does not need a new parliament or a new house for the prime minister. Freezing the hike in DA of central govt employees and pensioners is wrong as they have already voluntarily donated their one day salary in the PM cares fund. The pensioners who are senior citizens will be the worst affected by this move as they need money for their medicines and their pension amount is also usually a bare minimum to survive. The inflation will increase due to the corona lockdown in the country and hence not giving the pensioner their DA relief which in other words is their inflation allowance is a gross injustice to them.”

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The Union govt, last week, halted the outlay of increased dearness allowance (DA) to its staff and pensioners published last month and decided to stop the next two hikes as well because of the pressure on its finances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief, a component of salary and pension of government employees, are meant to balance the rising living costs due to inflation.

As a result of the freeze, the govt will not pay the hike in dearness allowance that was due from January 1, 2020, and the rates will remain the same till July 2021, a notification issued by the government said. The government also said no arrears for the period from January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, will be paid.

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