New Delhi: Congress has severely criticised the Centre’s move to put on hold hike in dearness allowance (DA) for central government employees, with former PM Dr Manmohan Singh saying that it was ‘not necessary at this stage’ and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi calling it ‘insensitive and inhumane.’ Also Read - Centre May Put Hike in Dearness Allowance For Central Govt Employees on Hold Due to Lockdown: Report

In a video released by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Saturday, the former Prime Minister said, “I sincerely believe it is not necessary at this stage to impose hardships on government servants and also on the armed forces people.” Also Read - Good News! Cabinet Approves 4% Increase in Dearness Allowance for Central Govt Employees

Also Read - 7th Pay Commission Latest News Today: 5% Dearness Allowance Hike For Himachal Pradesh State Employees

Notably, the Finance Ministry had on Thursday announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the currently ongoing subsequent lockdown, announced to control the pandemic, it was putting on hold the hike in DA for central government employees and dearness relief (DR) for central government pensioners till July next year.

The government had, earlier this month, announced a 4% DA hike for its employees, raising it from 17% to 21%.

Reacting to this, Rahul, the former Congress national president, had on Friday tweeted: “The government’s move to freeze DA allowance of those serving the people by fighting coronavirus, instead of cancelling the bullet train project and the Central Vista beautification project, is indeed insensitive and inhumane.”

Dearnace Allowance, notably, is a calculation on inflation and allowance paid to government employees, public sector employees (PSE) and pensioners in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In India, it is calculated as a % of a citizen’s basic salary to mitigate the impact of inflation on people.