Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday announced that all elected representatives in the state will take a 30 per cent cut in their monthly salary and honorarium for one year to help it tide over the COVID-19-induced financial crisis.
During a customary news briefing, Vijayan said that the government will deduct the salary of state employees -- ministers, Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), members of different boards under the government and members of local self-government bodies for six days every month for the next five months.
Those earning Rs 20,000 per month would be exempted from the scheme.
The Chief Minister stressed that COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the economy at the national and state level and said Kerala has been hit badly as a consumer state.
"The state is going through a fiscal crisis as the tax collection revenue has fallen drastically and remittances from expatriates have also stopped since the outbreak of coronavirus. Expenses for healthcare services and food safety are unavoidable," he said.
"In this scenario, we need to mop up additional resources within the state. It is a matter of relief that people across all sections of our society have contributed to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF)," he added.
"Accordingly, the salary for six days every month will be deducted for the next five months. This would be applicable to employees of all state-owned enterprises, public sector undertakings, quasi-government organisations, universities, among others in the state. However, those earning less than Rs 20,000 a month will be exempted," Vijayan said.