The Chief Minister said that the government decided to increase the DA by 7 percent despite resource constraints.     

She said that after she came to power there was a raise of 30 percent in DA, for which the government had to spend Rs 9,000 crore from the state exchequer.     

"This 7 percent hike alone will cost Rs 2,100 crore," she said.

"We are passing through a tough time because of the legacy of debt burden left by the erstwhile LF government. We have to pay an amount of Rs 28,000 crore annually towards debt servicing. Somehow we manage to pay salaries to the employees," Banerjee said.

She pointed out that the Centre increased DA every time before elections, but there was no way Bengal could do this, saying, "maybe we have got political freedom, but not economic freedom."

Speaking about comparison with other states, Banerjee said, "Don't draw any comparison with Gujarat, Maharashtra etc. Gujarat had already been developed 20 years back and Maharashtra is the financial capital of India. But we are lagging behind. Who is responsible for this? The previous Left Front government."
    
When reporters drew her attention to the big gap between the central DA and Bengal's DA, she shot back: "We don't have money-making machine. It is with the Centre."

Banerjee demanded that the Centre bear financial burden of states for giving DA to their employees whenever it increased DA for its own employees.

"We told the Centre we have no grudge against your increase in DA, but also make provision for funds to states for DA increase of their own employees. We have made this demand before the Finance Commission," she said.

She said that Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra had written to the Centre in this regard towards the end of 2013 demanding necessary allocation from the Centre in case of DA hike announced by it, but there was no reply.

"We keep writing to the Centre on many cases, but the Centre hardly bothers about giving any reply," she said.     

With the hike, the gap with the central DA has been reduced to 42 percent from 49 percent.

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