Lucknow: Amidst the corona outbreak, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to freeze dearness allowance (DA) including six benefits to the state government employees and pensioners in their salaries from next month till March next year after a decision taken by the central government on Thursday.

The government has also decided to put on hold the withdrawal of arrears, which was given by the government after the hike of 4% DA announced in January. More than 16 lakh state employees and pensioners will suffer with this step. The UP government is following other state governments in the matter of pay cuts of employees' salaries.

Besides, the state government has decided to raise funds to fight the corona outbreak. Since the announcement of the lockdown, all industrial, financial, and agricultural activities have been stopped in the state, and revenue collection has been slashed, while the expenditure remains high.

Meanwhile, the government is tackling a financial crunch due to lockdown and is looking forward to financial assistance from the Centre. So far, the government has already taken several steps to minimise and maintain their expenses including 30% of salary deduction of ministers and legislators of the state for one year along with simultaneous ban of the utilisation of local development funds for two years.

The Yogi government has also set up the COVID-19 fund, while appealing to corporates, institutions, and individuals to contribute to establishing a hospital and procuring medical equipment, especially for corona patients.

It is assuming that after the deduction of the 4% DA from the salary, the government will save Rs 2,000 crore in their corpus. However, right now, state employees and pensioners are getting 17% DA and the government said that employees would continue to get other facilities.