New Delhi: Around 2,000 executives across steel PSUs in India took to the streets on Wednesday, holding candles, to protest against the government's decision to freeze Dearness Allowance (DA) for public sector employees and demand 3rd pay revision. Speaking to PSU Watch, Bimal Kumar Bisi, General Secretary of the Steel Executives' Federation of India (SEFI) said, "About 2,000 executives across steel PSUs in India, like SAIL, RINL, NMDC, NINL, MECON, took part in the candle march to protest against the government's unilateral and illogical decision to freeze DA."
The strike comes a day after the SEFI wrote a letter to Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Prakash Javadekar, asking the government to withdraw its decision.
In another letter addressed to the Secretary of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), accessed by PSU Watch, SEFI said, "Fighting against all odds posed by the prevailing pandemic, employees at steel PSUs have shown exemplary courage to achieve the targets of the company in spite of impending issues of pay revision and associated benefits. In this situation, it is felt that the implementation of the proposed freezing of DA shall result in a demoralising effect devastating setback for the future of steel PSUs."
SEFI urged the DPE Secretary to review the DA freeze order and restore the allowance "in the interest of the nation and employees as a whole."
In its previous letter to Javadekar, SEFI had argued that the decision to freeze DA is "unreasonable" since the salary, perks and allowances of PSU employees are paid for by PSUs from their own income, and not by the Central exchequer. "It is to be noted here that the salary, perks and allowances of CPSEs are not being paid from the central exchequer, and is paid by the CPSEs from their own income. Hence, there is no justification for such a DA freeze in Industrial sector and such a move by Centre may be treated as unreasonable," Bisi had said in the letter. Speaking to PSU Watch, Bisi had said that the federation is ready to take the matter to the Supreme Court and seek a stay on the decision if the Centre doesn't withdraw its decision.
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