COVID-19: Kerala govt to issue order for staff pay cuts

Kerala govt to issue ordinance for cutting salary of its staff for COVID-19 battle

Representative photo (Credit: PTI)

The Kerala government has decided to bring in an ordinance to defer 30 days salary of government employees as the Kerala High Court stayed a government order in this regard.

The plan is to defer six days salary for five months.

The state Cabinet that met on Wednesday decided to bring in the ordinance citing the financial crunches caused by coronavirus outbreak.

Track live updates on coronavirus here

Thirty per cent of the salary, allowances and honorarium of ministers and MLAs would be deducted for one year.

The government has not made it clear when the deferred salaries would be paid.

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.

"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," Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac told reporters.

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

"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.

(With PTI inputs)