The impact of the pandemic and ensuing lockdown has been huge in states, such as Telangana, where the state government employees have been facing salary cuts since March, owing to excessive financial burden.
However, the Telangana government is now trying to recover from the financial crisis, with the economic activities having picked up. Therefore, it has decided to give out full salaries to all the state government employees and pensioners, for the month of July.
The decision was taken by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, after a meeting with the officials of the finance department on June 23.
Earlier, when the lockdown was announced, the Telangana government had enforced salary cuts ranging from 10 per cent to 75 per cent for all the government employees with effect from March, in an attempt to conserve cash.
Interestingly, it was only on June 17 that the KCR government implemented the Telangana Disaster and Public Health Emergency (Special Provisions) Ordinance 2020 seeking to defer payment of salaries, pensions and other dues in the event of disaster and public health emergency in the state.
The ordinance empowers the government to defer payment of monthly pay, pension or remuneration to the employees, pensioners or other persons to the extent not exceeding half (50 per cent) the total monthly payment during the crisis period. Further, the ordinance mandates the government to pay the deferred amount within six months from the date of deferment. However, the state government may make amendments.
This ordinance was challenged by the government employees in the High Court, demanding an explanation for the salary cuts.
Even before the case came up for hearing, the state government has restored the full salaries for employees and pensioners from next month.
Meanwhile, neighbouring state, Andhra Pradesh, led by the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government had already started paying full salaries to all its employees and pensioners with effect from May.