THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has further relaxed the facility for employees to make contributions from their general provident fund (GPF) account to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) for flood relief activities.
The Finance Department has now included ‘contributions to the CMDRF’ as an option for employees to get non-refundable advances (NRA) from their general provident fund account. NRA from GPF is given for specific reasons like the education or marriage of children or house construction.
The Finance Department officials said the new order is to help employees who want to make a month’s contribution to the fund at one go.
“There were requests from employees who wanted to make one month’s contribution but unable to spare their monthly income. The latest order will help them to make NRA from the GPF and contribute to the CMDRF,” said an officer.
Pro-UDF NGO Association’s state president N K Benny said the government should realise the plight of employees forced to join the salary challenge.
“Contribution from the GPF will be a good option for many employees who cannot spare their month’s salary. But do not force the staff to join it,” he said. Benny said the pro-government employees’ associations were shaming staff who could not join the salary challenge.
“Their names and details are shared on WhatsApp and social media platforms and they are being humiliated. This is a gross violation of the privacy and human rights of employees,” he said.
Call to lift travel ban
In view of the latest IMD update, the SDMA has instructed district-level authorities to lift the travel ban on tourists after studying the local conditions. However, the SDMA has advised the public to avoid night travel in Idukki and Wayanad on Monday. Since both districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall in isolated places, the police and the fire and rescue service have been instructed to be on alert. District-level disaster management authorities also have been asked to release NDRF units as and when required by Monday after studying the rainfall conditions. However, with the sea continuing to be rough, fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea.