Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan approves Ordinance on Salary deferment

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Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday approved the draft Ordinances for deferring six days salary of government teachers and employees for five months, to meet the expenses for the COVID fight.

 

The law will authorise the government to set aside up to 25 per cent of the salary of government employees.The Ordinance was sent to the Governor on Wednesday.

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said that the impediment for deducting the salary had been cleared with the Governor signing the ordinance and disbursal would commence on May 4.

Thomas Isaac clarified that the government would repay the deferred amount back to the employees.

"We are not deducting salary. We will repay them the deferred amount. An order will be issued soon”, he said.

“We will explore different options to pay the employees back. It may be included in the salary component or in the provident fund component,” he added.

The Ordinance was necessitated following a stay order issued by the High Court.

On Tuesday, the Kerala High Court stayed for two months the operation of the State government order deferring the payment of six days salary of its employees and other government institutions every month from April to August.

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, while issuing the stay order, observed that prima facie the law authorising the government to issue such an order was found wanting. 

Besides, he also noted that there was ambiguity in the order regarding the manner in which the amount was proposed to be set apart or was to be utilised.

Earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had demanded a contribution of one month’s salary each from all state government officials towards the Relief Fund, but the move was shot down by the opposition parties.

Then, the government went ahead and announced that they have no other way but to defer six-day salary for the next five months. It too came under heavy criticism from the opposition.

 

Image credit: My words & Thoughts

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