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Kerala Governor signs ordinance to defer up to 25 per cent pay of govt staff after HC stay

Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the governor's assent was a "big relief" to the cash-strapped state. "The governor knows the constraints of the state better than the opposition," he told the media.

Published: 30th April 2020 05:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th April 2020 05:29 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan (Photo | Arun Angela, EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has signed the ordinance to defer the payment of a portion of government employees' salaries, up to a maximum of 25 per cent, in the event of a pandemic or natural disaster. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the salary distribution will begin on May 4 and priority would be given to health and police personnel.

The governor also gave his assent to the ordinance to cut 30 per cent of the annual benefits to legislators.

The government took to the ordinance route after the Kerala High Court stayed an order for compulsory contribution by employees to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund to finance the COVID-19 control measures. The order was to deduct six days' pay from the salary of employees for the next five months. The Kerala Administrative Tribunal too had stayed the government order.  

Through the ordinance promulgated on Thursday, the Kerala Disaster and Public Health Emergency Special Provisions, the government plans to deduct the salary as per the earlier plan. The ordinance says the government needs to announce the repayment plan and time only six months after the deduction.

Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the governor's assent was a "big relief" to the cash-strapped state. "The governor knows the constraints of the state better than the opposition," he told the media. The minister assured employees that the money will be repaid.     

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