Pinarayi Vijayan and Oommen Chandy
A former press secretary has responded to the controversy over the salary and pension of press secretaries and press advisors. P. T. Chacko, former press secretary to then chief minister Oommen Chandy, has responded to the controversy through his Facebook page.
A government press secretary joining on deputation will be given salary on par with the post from which he is being deputised. “When I was appointed as Oommen Chandy’s press secretary from PRD in 2004, I was given a salary of Rs 7,538. But the present press secretaries and advisers who were appointed from Deshabhimani have a salary scale of Rs 93,000-Rs 1,20,000.
While Chief Ministers from Congress party selected press secretaries and press advisers from the Public Relations Department (PRD), CMs from CPI (M) selected press secretaries and press advisers from Deshabhimani, Chacko said in the Facebook post.
Sasikumar Varma, who was appointed as press secretary to Chief Minister AK Antony, received salary on par with his post in the parent department. Those who came to power with the slogan to reduce the number of personal staff to 25, increased it to 30. Later they increased it to 37, he said.
Now, the cabinet has decided to amend the personal staff rule to include the press advisor, press secretary, political secretary along with 4 of his staff. The benefit is that all of them will receive pension for the rest of their lives, Chacko added.