'Chop off my head': CM Mamata Banerjee over DA protests
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government could not give more dearness allowance (DA) to the state government employees, even if they "chop off" her head, reported ANI. Notably, many state government employees—including school and college teachers—have been staging protests since January, demanding an increase in DA on par with the central government workers.
If you don't like me, behead me: Banerjee
Speaking at the extended Budget Session in the West Bengal Assembly, Banerjee said, "I am giving 105% DA. How much more do you (protesters) want? How much will satisfy you? State government employees have different pay scales from central employees." "Accept what we are giving. If you don't like me, chop off my head. But beyond this, I cannot do anything," the CM added.
Banerjee government announced 3% DA hike in latest budget
Presenting the 2023-24 budget in the Assembly on February 15, WB Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said the government would pay 3% additional DA to employees from March. So far, they have been getting 3% of their basic salary as DA. The announcement came amid reports of the Centre planning to increase the DA of its employees/pensioners from 38% to 42% of the basic pay.
Protesters threaten to hold cease-work on March 10
Several organizations of state government employees are protesting despite the anti-strike notices issued by the authorities. They held a cease-work on February 20-21 and have threatened to do it again on Friday. Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Manoj Pant said employees who skipped work on those two days would not be granted leave unless they were either hospitalized or there was a death in their family.