Kolkata, March 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said in the Assembly that her government will not be able to provide additional dearness allowance (DA) to the state government employees "even if she is beheaded".
Her comments come at a time when the joint forum of the state government employees have already announced observing a strike on March 10 in demand of the DA arrears.
"The previous Left Front regime denied payments of DA arrears year after year. After we came to power, we increased the DA payment manifold. How much more do you want? What else will satisfy you? If you do not like me, you can behead me," she said on the floor of the house during the extended budget session of the Assembly that started from Monday.
Banerjee also referred to the annual leaves enjoyed by the state government employees in West Bengal, which, according to her, is much more than what is enjoyed by their counterpart in the Union government or in other states. "State government employees on an average enjoyed leave to the tune of 40 days every year. In states like Tripura and Uttar Pradesh, the employees there do not enjoy so many facilities," she said.
She also said that the West Bengal government has continued with the pension scheme even though many state governments had done away with it. "Huge money is going from the state exchequer for this payment of pension. What do you want? Shall we pay the DA arrears and close down the pension scheme," she asked.
Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari later told the newspersons that the state government should first try to control wasteful expenditures on accounts of festivals and fairs and concentrate on revenue generation before giving such excuses for not paying the DA arrears. "Today or tomorrow, the state government will have to pay the DA arrears as rightly pointed out by the court that getting DA is the legitimate right of the employees and not a fruit of charity," he said.
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