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By the Way

Hole in Pocket


Covid-19 has without doubt created havoc in India. It has impacted even those government servants, MPs, and MLAs who normally steer clear of such crises. The Government has started doing damage control but many are bewildered by the direction. The Ministry of Finance and Revenue has ordered its employees to ‘willfully’ donate one-day salary to the “Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund” (PMCARES). Even dearness allowance of government employees has been frozen untill July 2021. Surprisingly, most of the state government employees have also been ‘motivated’ to donate one-day salary in Chief Minister’s relief fund. As per the India Spend survey, PMCARES Fund has received about Rs. 4,000 crore from government side contributions. Apart from this, on April 7, 2020, the Union Cabinet gave its nod to the temporary suspension of Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Funds during 2020-21 and 2021-22 in view of the Covid-19 outbreak in India. It is reported: “The consolidated amount of MPLAD Funds for 2 years – Rs. 7,900 crore – will go to Consolidated Fund of India.” The states are also not lagging behind with most of the states suspending MLAs funds. The central government employees’ federation is keeping mum. Finally, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reacted to the salary donation: “We should be on the side of people whose dearness allowance is being cut. I sincerely believe it is not necessary at this stage to impose hardships on government servants and also on the armed forces people.” MPs and MLAs are also keeping silent, but knowing the tribe of politicians they may strike when the iron is hot.

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