Kerala government to issue ordinance for cutting salary of its staff for Covid-19 battle
The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to issue an ordinance empowering it to deduct salaries of its employees to mobilise funds to fight Covid-19 in the state.
The move comes a day after the High Court had stayed an order of the Left government for salary cut of its employees, observing that it lacked legal backing.
The G.O had said the state government employees' salary for six days every month would be deducted for the next five months as part of raising funds for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
Announcing the cabinet decision, Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac told reporters that as per the ordinance, the state government has been empowered to defer 25 per cent of the salary of its employees in the event of a disaster.
"As per this ordinance, the state government has been empowered to defer 25 per cent of the salary of the government employees, in case of a disaster.
The state government can take a decision on giving back the deferred amount within six months. These are the two operative provisions," Isaac said.
The Minister, however, made it clear that 25 per cent of the salary would not be deferred and the state government would go ahead with the earlier six-day cut itself.
"The state government has taken the decision on the ordinance as per the Kerala High Court order. We could have gone for an appeal.
But, the court said that the government order on deducting salary does not have a legal backing. So, we have decided to make it legal," he said.
He also pointed out that while other states have cut more than 30 per cent salary of it employees salary, Kerala's ordinance allows to deduct six days' pay.
Earlier, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that the deducted amount will be given back to the employees when the financial condition of the state improved.