Govt redeploys Saji Cherian’s staff; ensures pension for them

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has increased the number of the personal staff of ministers, giving scant regard to the Governor's intervention and the Supreme Court's criticism.

The latest controversy comes as the government redeployed former minister Saji Cherian's personal staff to other ministers' offices. The move was to ensure job and life-long pension for the staff of Saji Cherian, who resigned as fisheries and culture minister on July 6 amid controversies over his alleged anti-constitutional speech.

The chief minister is permitted to have 37 personal staff, and the ministers only 30. During the Pinarayi government’s first term (2016-21), it was decided to reduce the number of ministers’ staff to 25. However, the increase in staff now comes at a time when the State battles a worse financial condition.

Cherian's 25-member personal staff comprised a Private Secretary, an Assistant Private Secretary, a Personal Assistant, two Additional Personal Assistants, five clerks, two Chauffeurs, seven Office Attendants, a Cook, two Additional Private Secretaries, and three Assistant Private Secretaries. Out of this, five officials were deployed back to their parent departments, and the remaining 20 were allowed to continue in their posts till the 20th of this month. They were redeployed to the team of other ministers on July 21.

The quick action from the government was to avoid a situation where there emerges a gap of even a single day, which would affect the staff's pension.

Six personnel were handed over to minister V. Abdurahiman, taking his team to 30. Five were deployed to minister P A Mohammed Riyas’s team, increasing his staff strength to 29. One person was inducted into the chief minister’s team. The rest were redeployed to the offices of V N Vasavan and other ministers.

The personnel staff, appointed without considering their educational qualifications, draw a salary ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 1.25 lakh. They will be eligible for a pension upon completing two years in service. An Additional Secretary, who draws up to Rs 1.25 lakh salary, is eligible for a monthly pension of Rs 8,300 with two years of service and Rs 21,000 for five years' service. 

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.