Stressing that her government pays salaries to its staffers as per the recommendations of the sixth pay commission, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday stated that their demand for dearness allowance (DA) hike on par with central employees was unjustified.
Banerjee explained that the Centre and her government have different policies and financial plans.
The CM also maintained that her government, despite financial crisis, makes it a point to pay salaries and pensions on the first day of every month.
"I have always fought for people's rights, I don’t take them away. But only the ones which are genuine and recognised by the law can be entertained. We must not forget that the state government and the Centre have different policies, different financial structures," Banerjee said.
She was speaking at a programme at Alipore Judges' Court compound here, organised to mark the sesquicentennial (150th) birth anniversary of philosopher and nationalist Rishi Aurobindo.
A section of state government employees had been staging demonstrations for over a month demanding that the DA gap between state and central government employees be bridged.
"We have implemented the recommendations of the sixth pay commission. If you ask for a DA at par with the central government, it is not acceptable. Schools run by the Centre have pay structures different from the one governed by the state," she reasoned.
Banerjee also said that her government had been giving far more DA to employees than what was disbursed under the erstwhile Left Front dispensation.
"We have been paying teachers, government staffers their salaries and retired people pensions on day one of every month, besides repaying the debts incurred by the CPI(M) government," she said.
Banerjee further pointed out that state was not getting its share from GST, as the Centre "wasn't clearing the dues" it owed to Bengal.
"The Centre takes away everything in the name of GST, and does not give us our share. In a way, we are facing losses. People working for 100 days' scheme are not getting wages," she said.
"The Centre has the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its assistance, but the state government neither has any bank nor any power to print money," she added.
-With PTI Input