The Kerala government will go ahead with the deferment of salary of employees for six more months. It has been decided to extend the deferment of salaries of six days each month, besides various other measures as part of efforts to reduce expenditure in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.A cabinet meeting on Wednesday also decided that there will not be any beautification of government buildings, purchase of furniture and vehicles in government institutions and offices for a period of one year, an official release said.
These decisions were taken based on the recommendations of two expert committees set up to review the economic situation of the state.
"Deferment of salary will continue for another six months starting from September 1. However, the salary thus deferred will carry an interest rate of 9% per annum until it is merged into PF on April 1, 2021," the release said.
The stateâ€™s Governor had on April 30 given his approval to an ordinance empowering the state government to defer the salaries of its employees for five months.
The Kerala Disaster and Public Health Emergency (Special Provisions) Ordinance 2020 empowered the government to defer the salary of an employee by an amount not exceeding one-fourth of the total monthly pay, for managing a situation arising out of a disaster or public health emergency.
The state government also said that the salary that has already been deferred for the last five months, will be merged with Provident Fund on April 1, 2021 as an immediate liability of Rs 2,500 crore would be incurred if the employees repaid in cash. The merged amount can be withdrawn after June 1, next year.
In other decisions taken at the cabinet meeting, it was resolved that the staff, appointed for various discontinued schemes, including those under the Union government, would be deployed to the required departments within a month.
All formal discussions, meetings, training, workshops and debates would be conducted online. The state cabinet has also issued directions to the Public Works Department to relocate offices functioning in rented premises to unused space in government offices.