Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal made it clear that the state is under severe economic crisis due to Covid 19. This statement from the Finance Minister denotes that the bonus and festival allowances for the government employees may not be given for this Onam.
If Onam falls in the last of a month, the government usually gives the salary of that month before Onam. This leads to more money supply in the market during the festival season and thereby increases the economic activities. Even though Onam comes on August 21 this year, salary for August can be given only at the beginning of September, said the Finance Minister.
The government employees were a protected community during the pandemic. Hence they should realise the depth of the challenges the government is facing at this time, noted the minister.
In the last Onam season, an advance of Rs 1,500 was given to the government employees. Moreover, the government had spent Rs 6000 crores to provide two months’ salary, bonus and festival allowances for the government employees alone. It has been inferred that the government cannot burden itself with such a huge amount in this financial year.
It has not been decided to eliminate the festival allowances and bonus completely. Instead, the Finance Ministry is planning to give festival allowances and bonuses by withholding the salary of August. But, the Chief Minister will take a final decision in this regard.