Published On: Thu, Apr 2nd, 2020

Ker govt not considering salary cut for its employees now: CM

Chennai: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said his government was not considering salary restriction for its employees as of now in the wake of the severe financial crisis being faced by the state due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today said his government was not considering salary restriction for its employees as of now in the wake of the severe financial crisis being faced by the state due to COVID-19 pandemic.

He was responding to questions from reporters about a Facebook post of Finance Minsiter Thomas Isaac, indicating salary restriction while citing measures in several states, including Telangana where the government has decided to defer payment of salaries to several categories of its employees.

“Salary restriction issue is not under the government’s consideration right now”, Vijayan said here. The government has asked its employees to donate a month’s salary towards the CM’s relief fund to tackle the fallout of the pandemic.

“Now we have appealed to the employees to contribute. We will see how the response is”, he said. In the Facebook post, Isaac said the distribution of the salary of the government staff for the month of March began in the state on Thursday but several other states were not giving the complete pay in view of the ongoing crisis.

“Telangana cut salaries by half. States such as Andhra Pradesh, Mahatashtra and Rajasthan have put on hold half of the salary without distributing it. If the situation continues like this, the Kerala government will also be forced to think about such steps,” he said. However, he later told reporters that such an extreme step would not be needed if all the employees take part in the “salary-challenge” announced by the government and contribute their one month salary voluntarily.

“Now, we have requested the employees to contribute their one month salary. No need to pay in a single installment but in multiple installments like during the time of floods,” he said in the FB post. The finance minister also rejected media reports that the LDF government was making the salary challenge mandatory.

“Only noble-hearted people need to contribute their one- month salary and there is no compulsion,” he said. Giving an insight into the grim financial situation of the state, he said the tax revenues on sale of lottery and liquor were nil in view of the lockdown.

There was no sale of motor vehicles in the state. There was only sale of food articles and that too with GST exempted on them, the FM said adding the state had not faced such a tough situation before. “The state government will have no (tax) revenue in April. Taken the loan that could be. The GST does not provide any compensation,” Isaac said.

During the floods in 2018 also the government had asked employees to contribute one month salary. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress led UDF attacked the government over the issue, saying that the people were being forced to make the contribution.

PTI

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