The Government of Kerala has announced an Onam bonus for its employees ahead of the festival. Those not entitled to the same will receive a special Onam allowance of Rs 2,750. Employees may also avail of a festival advance of Rs 15,000 which they can conveniently repay in five instalments.
Employees working part-time will receive Rs 5,000 as salary advance and so will the contingent workers. Service pensioners and employees under the contributory pension scheme will be paid a special festival allowance of Rs 1,000.
This is a pleasant surprise for employees who were not very hopeful of receiving a bonus given the financial crunch amidst the pandemic. However, the state government decided not to break the tradition and went ahead and announced the bonus just as it does every year.
A budget of Rs 1,481.87 crore has been set aside for payment of the social security pensions for July and August before the festival.
Even the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has decided to pay the bonus and festival allowance to its staff ahead of Onam, despite its poor financial condition. This will increase the monetary burden of the Board by about Rs 3 crore. However, TDB employees will not be eligible for the special festival advance of Rs 15,000 that the state government employees are being offered.
There are about 5,500 employees on the rolls of the TDB, which has suffered losses of more than Rs 600 crore since the pandemic began in March 2020.