THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala will be forced to regulate the salary of government employees if the Covid-19 crisis continues, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said on Thursday. “Several states are not paying the full salary of March to the employees. Telangana has cut it by half. Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have also deferred payment of half the salary. If the present situation continues, the Kerala government will also be forced to think along these lines,” he said in a Facebook post, while pointing out that the state was facing a big financial crisis.
Speaking to media persons later, Isaac said that extreme steps like salary cut can be avoided if all employees donated their salary of one month to the government. He added that the option to make contributions as per one’s capacity was impractical, considering the past experience with the ‘salary challenge’ during the 2018 floods. “Those who were reluctant to take up the challenge were the ones who were highly-paid,” he said. Isaac urged all government employees to join the salary challenge announced by the government as part of the Covid-19 relief measures. “This need not be done in one go. It can be paid in installments,” he said.
The minister denied reports that the salary challenge would be made compulsory. “I wonder how it can be made compulsory. Then where’s the challenge? There will not be any compulsion. Only kind hearts need to contribute,” he said.