Published On: Tue, Apr 7th, 2020

Congress opposes any proposal of salary cut for govt employees in K’taka

Bengaluru: With Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa indicating that government employees may have to face salary cuts in coming month given the the state’s precarious financial condition following the lockdown due to coronavirus, Karnataka Congress on Tuesday, vehemently opposed any such move.

Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar

In an interview to a private Kannada news channel on Monday, Yediyurappa had reportedly said, after analysing the situation the government will have to take a call regarding payment of salary to employees next month.

“The Chief Minister said this month salary will be given, but there is need to think about it in the given situation. I appeal to the Chief Minister, whether it is government employees or employees of any non governmental organisations- no attempt should be made to cut their salaries,” the Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, “we have told them not to work, no government so far has reached a wretched state- that it cannot pay its employees.”

The Government should stop developmental works of PWD, irrigation, social welfare or any other department, which they have not been able to start so far, Shivakumar said, adding that “ensuring livelihood of the people should be priority…they (employees) will have commitments to run family, pay rent, EMIs, repayment of loan.”

He also urged the government that for no reason, salary of any government employee, whether it is police or from health department, should not be stopped or cut.

According to sources, the Karnataka government has been examining about pay cut to employees, given the current state of the finances, after neighbouring Telangana made an announcement in this regard.

The Telangana government last week announced pay cut for government employees.

There are over five lakh government employees in Karnataka, and their salaries constitutes major share of the state’s revenue receipts.

Shivakumar alleged the government’s measure to tackle the COVID-19 effectively and lockdown related relief announced is “only on paper”.

Stating that relief had not reached people, he noted that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for doctors and health workers who are on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, have not reached them properly.

He also alleged there was infighting within the government between health and medical education Minister amid the crisis, and that’s the reason the Education minister has been given the responsibility.

Amid reports of lack of co-ordination between Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar and Health and Family Welfare Minister B Sriramulu, Chief Minister Yediyurappa had recently tasked Education Minister Suresh Kumar to brief the media regarding COVID-19 related daily bulletins.

Lauding Yediyurappa for warning those who blaming the minority community for the spread of coronavirus on social media, Shivakumar requested the CM to issue a circular warning strict action, including arrest of those who are trying to disturb peace in the name of religion and by instigating social boycott of a particular community.

Hitting out at Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K S Eshwarappa, Shivakumar said, he should be sleeping, we should get him traced.

“The department plays a major role from providing drinking water, digging borewells, when summer is on…it has a key role in implementing MNREGA and provide employment to people by taking up local or community work…CM please ask your RDPR Ministers and district in-charge Ministers to work,” he added.

PTI

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