Mumbai: Amidst severe financial constraints due to the economic downturn and coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the Maharashtra government, as part of its austerity drive, on Tuesday decided to pay in two instalments the March salary to the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, ministers, legislators and government officers and employees.
The government cut a sorry figure as after strong resentment, especially from employee unions, it had to withdraw the original press release which had said there will be 60% cut in the salaries of legislators and ministers and about 50 to 75% reduction in the salaries of government employees. I
in the late evening, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar clarified that there is no salary cut but it will be paid in two instalments.
The state government’s monthly outgo towards salaries, pensions is around Rs 12,000 crore. With today’s decision, the government will save Rs 3,000 crore which it proposes to use on the Covid-19 containment plan in the state.
The government’s decision is on the lines of a decision of the Telangana government. Minister of Public Health Rajesh Tope argued that doctors, paramedics and nurses who are working 24x7 to tackle the pandemic should be spared from today’s decision and should be paid full salary for the month of March.
Pawar assured that there is no plan to cut the salary of employees in the departments of public health, medical education, police, rural development, revenue and local and civic bodies who are relentlessly working to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
Pawar said the government will pay 50% of the first instalment of salary to A and B category government officers and employees and 75% to C category employees. However, the government will pay full salary to D category employees while there will not be any cut in monthly pension for pensioners. "
There is no salary cut but it will be paid in two instalments," reiterated Pawar. Pawar justified the government’s move saying that the state is yet to receive Rs 16,654 crore from the Centre.
"Had the Centre cleared its dues, the state government would have paid full Pawar on Monday had appealed to the Centre to provide an assistance of Rs 25,000 crore to fight the coronavirus crisis.
He had also demanded Rs 16,654 crore dues from the Centre. Meanwhile, Minister of Housing Jitendra Wahid said he would donate his annual salary to conduct coronavirus relief works
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