Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac said that a majority of government staff had reacted positively to the challenge.

Kerala govt to go ahead with salary challenge wont force anyone to donate Minister
news Kerala Floods Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 13:28

The Kerala government has decided that it will go ahead with its ‘salary challenge’, under which all government staff have been asked to donate their one-month salary to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). 

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Monday had said that the state government will go ahead with the challenge and that majority of the government staff had reacted positively to the challenge.

On Monday, the Kerala High Court had questioned the government’s logic behind the challenge, saying that the government did not have the right to deduct even a day’s salary from their employees without their consent. 

The Finance Minister has clarified that the step taken by the government is not a government order, but merely a challenge.  “One should not compel anybody to contribute and that is not the intention of the government,” he said. “We all will have to come together. The government does not want to follow its predecessor. We don’t want to issue a government order in this connection,” he added, according to a report in Deccan Chronicle.

He stated that employees will not be forced to donate their salaries but will be encouraged to. Isaac went on to clarify that it was the Devaswom Board that said that it is compulsory for everyone to donate.

An employee in the Finance Department of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram was transferred to another department after he voiced out his inconvenience over donating his one month’s salary to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). He was later reinstated.

Kerala’s Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had lashed out at the government, accusing the finance minister of announcing with this ‘salary challenge’ without consulting Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. 

Responding to Chennithala’s charges, Thomas Isaac was quoted by DC as saying, “I don’t know why he is resorting to such false allegations. I think he feels slightly out of context in Kerala politics. He is failing miserably in his attempts to show that he is a fighter.”

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