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Letter to BS: What was the need to freeze DA hike of staff, pensioners?

PM Modi seems to have sprung the biggest surprise by announcing a Rs 20-trillion stimulus package

Coronavirus | DA hike | Lockdown

Business Standard 

modi, coronavirus, lockdown
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the coronavirus situation.

This refers to “Rs 20 trn to jump-start economy” (May 13). Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured) seems to have sprung the biggest surprise by announcing a Rs 20-trillion stimulus package, representing around 10 per cent of India's GDP, for the country during 2020. According to him, the proposed package would cater to various sections, including the cottage industry, the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), labourers, and middle class, with the objective of putting more money into people's pockets for suitably boosting the domestic consumption and demand. However, if correctly understood, this unusual (read: alluring) package also includes the government’s recent announcements (an economic package of Rs 1.7 trillion to deal with the crisis) on supporting key sectors, as also recent bold yet far-reaching measures rolled out by the Reserve Bank of India, accounting for around Rs 4.5 trillion, among others. If the government is currently blessed with sufficient funds of its own so as to achieve even such a gigantic target, then where was the need for freezing the additional hike in dearness allowance of the central government staff and pensioners till July 2021?

S Kumar New Delhi

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First Published: Wed, May 13 2020. 23:24 IST