As the country is grappling with severe disruption in every sector, the impact is huge in states, such as Telangana, owing to excessive financial burden. In view of this, the Telangana government has decided to continue a 50 per cent salary cut for the employees for the month of May. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had announced major salary cuts, up to 75 per cent, for all government employees, including himself and his cabinet ministers.
The decision to continue the cut for this month too was taken in a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister at his official residence on May 27.
The salary deductions —75 per cent for public representatives, 60 per cent for All India Service officers, 50 per cent for state government employees— as well as 25 per cent deduction in pensions will continue in May.
However, there will be only a 10 per cent cut in the salaries of outsourced and contract workers and the families that fall below the poverty line will be paid for this month.
The government also decided not to pay Rs 1,500 cash to the below poverty line families.
A Government statement released said that since labourers and workers will be getting daily work now that the lockdown has been relaxed, the cash assistance will be stopped May onwards.
However, supply of 12 kg free rice will continue during May. The Government will also continue to pay social security pensions without any change.
The Chief Minister revealed that the state should have earned Rs 12,000 crore income every month, but was unable to do so, due to the lockdown. In May, the state received Rs 3,100 crore only, including its share in the central taxes, that is, Rs 982 crore.
Even relaxation of lockdown did not help to increase the income substantially.
With this less than expected income, the Telengana government has to clear debt instalments totalling Rs 37,400 crore per year, the instalments for which need to be paid every month without fail. The state has apparently sent a request to the Centre to allow a rescheduling of the loans, but has not received any response.
According to the Chief Minister, if the salaries of the employees and their pensions are paid, the expenditure will cross over Rs 3,000 crore, rendering the treasury empty. This will bring all future payments and work to a standstill. Therefore, the need of the hour is an appropriate strategy.