The finance ministry on Saturday clarified that it has not passed any order to resume payment of dearness allowance to central government employees and dearness relief to pensioners from July. The ministry said that a document claiming the same was being circulated on social media.

“This OM [office memorandum] is fake,” the ministry tweeted, along with the purported document. “No such OM has been issued by GOI [government of India].”

Dearness allowance is paid by the government to its employees to compensate for the increase in the cost of living due to inflation. It is revised twice a year, on January 1 and July 1. Dearness relief is the same allowance given to central government pensioners.

In April last year, the government had put on hold three installments of dearness allowance and dearness relief in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Additional installment of dearness allowance payable to central government employees and dearness relief to central government pensioners, due from 1st January, 2020 shall not be paid,” the ministry had announced. Additional installments of dearness allowance and dearness relief from July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021, shall also not be paid, the ministry had said. However, the dearness allowance and relief at current rates will be paid, it had added.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday hit out at the Modi government for not releasing dearness allowance and dearness relief.

“Instead of encouraging the 113 lakh employees engaged in the service during the coronavirus pandemic, the central government is trying to snatch their hard-earned money,” Gandhi tweeted. “It is a crime to loot Rs 37,500 crore from soldiers, government employees and pensioners.”

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the government should not be insensitive towards its employees and armed forces, adding that it should not play jokes with them when salaries are decreasing and inflation is rising, reported PTI.

“This non-payment highlights and underlines the clear hypocrisy, the clear double standard of the government, which speaks in two voices, forked tongues about nationalism,” he added. “We demand an immediate restoration of the DA that was suspended last year.”