Letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the deposit of saved DA amount directly in bank accounts of the poor by Prof Hemantkumar Shah of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, and Mahesh Pandya of the Gujarat Social Watch:
We heartily welcome the decision taken by the Government of India (GoI) of freezing the DA for the Central Govt employees and its pensioners for one and half year. Indeed, they form the major part of the organised sector employees in the country. According to latest available figures, there are only 1.73 crore government employees in the central government and all states governments including government owned entities. Naturally they belong to the middle, middle middle, upper middle and upper class of Indian society, whereas there are around 46 crore workers who belong to the unorganised class and most of them do not draw fixed monthly pay or wages.
We therefore, request you to deposit the thus saved amount directly in the bank accounts of the poor and thereby fulfill the duty of the government, prescribed under the Directive Principles of the State in the Constitution of India. Our representation regarding this proposal is as follows:
- When five percent DA was increased in last October-2019 effectively from July-2019, the total annual burden was estimated to the tune of Rs. 16,000 crore to the exchequer. Same is the burden for the pensioners. That amounts to the annual burden of Rs. 32,000 crore to the GoI.
- If DA is frozen for three instalments with an assumption of five per cent release equally, the total amount saved by the exchequer is roughly Rs. 96,000 crore.
- We humbly request to take steps to deposit this amount directly in the bank accounts of 80 crore poor persons identified under the National Food Security Act-2013 i.e. around 16 crore poor families, with an average of Rs. 2000 every six months for this period. The first instalment of Rs. 2000 should be deposited immediately.
- Besides this, Rs. 6,500 crore deposited in the PM CARES Fund within one week of the inception of the Fund and balance of Rs. 3,800 crore of the PM National Relief Fund should also be disbursed to these poor families. The amount thus arrived is Rs. 600 per family and that should be deposited in their bank accounts as onetime payment along with the above mentioned amount.
- There are 48.34 lakh central govt employees and 65.26 lakh pensioners. They mostly belong to the upper strata of the Indian society and if they temporarily sacrifice something for the poor, we have no objection to it. We therefore, firmly believe that the saved DA amount should directly be given to the toiling poor masses without spending that amount for any other purpose.
- We also request all the state government to follow the GoI and to freeze three DA instalments for their employees, and deposit the saved amount in the same fashion in the bank accounts of their poor families.