Kerala govt outlines austerity measures, salary challenge likely to be extended

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Thiruvananthapuram: In the event of the financial crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kerala's Finance Department is contemplating the extension of salary challenge for government employees for another six months.

Employees will be asked to contribute an amount equivalent to a month's salary over a period of six months. The amount must be deposited in the Treasury.

The Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has also assured an interest of 9 per cent for the salary which will be deducted. The amount will be credited to the Provident Fund later. This may be withdrawn from the month of June in 2021.

Pensioners without PF will be provided the sum in instalments after June 1, 2021.

A final decision on the matter will be taken after due discussion with the employees' organisations.

The last salary cut was enforced from the month of April for a period of five months. 

The leave surrender benefits which has been postponed for the time being will be merged in the PF. All categories of employees will be permitted to avail the leave surrender benefits only after June 1, 2021.

Austerity measures

The cabinet has decided to adopt several austerity measures to overcome the revenue deficit faced by the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provision of availing a sabbatical for 20 years has also been shortened to 5 years. If the employee is joining after a period of 5 years, it will be considered as a resignation.

16 teaching hours

The number of teaching hours per faculty must be a minimum of 16 hours. This criteria will be considered while creating new teaching posts.
The government will make the final decision with regard to creation of posts in schools.

Government departments will not be permitted to undertake any renovation work for a year. Purchase of new vehicles will also not be permitted during the period.

The Finance Department is also taking steps to merge the leave surrender with the PF.

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