The Kerala government, on Monday, January 23, issued a Government Order (GO) clearing the pending salary arrears of Kerala State Youth Commission (KSYC) chairperson Chintha Jerome. While the order does not mention the exact amount to be cleared to Chintha, reports suggest that it would be to the tune of Rs 8 lakh. The issue became a controversy during the first week of January when Chintha had demanded that her salary arrears be paid, according to a report in The Hindu.
According to reports, Chintha Jerome was appointed as the KSYC chairperson in 2016 at a monthly pay of Rs 50,000 until the pay scale was fixed. In 2018, the pay scale of the chairpersonâ€™s salary was fixed at Rs 1 lakh. So between October 14, 2016 and May 25, 2018, Chintha was paid Rs 50,000 per month.
In 2022, she appealed to the government asking for the arrears of Rs 50,000 which was due to her during that period, along with the pending salary amount for some months. She claimed that she had to work without salary for months and that she also spent her own money to attend an international youth conference hosted by the United Nations. She had demanded arrearsâ€™ payment of Rs 8 lakh in total. While her demand was initially rejected, the government later accepted it, according to a report in Onmanorama.
The state president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had slammed the governmentâ€™s acceptance â€śto double Ms. Jeromeâ€™s salary with retrospective and pay her a sizeable amount as outstanding at a time of deep financial crisisâ€ť. He also added that the decision was proof of corruption within the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led (CPI(M)) Left Democratic Front (LDF) government.