Stop pension of personal staff to ministers; Governor directs chief secretary

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Governor Arif Mohammed Khan | Photo: PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: In a surprise move, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has directed the Chief Secretary to suspend the pension scheme for the personal staff of ministers. He said that the personal staff was looting tax money of the people and this system would be abolished within a month. The Chief Secretary's Office has received a letter from Raj Bhavan requesting files on the personal staff to be submitted within a week.

"The government has no power to control the Raj Bhavan. A Government body meddling in our affairs is unacceptable. Attempting to do so would lead to a crisis. The governor has a constitutional right to advise the government," he said.

The Governor also went a step ahead in criticising the government for appointing personal staff, who he claims are benefactors for the party.

"I realised three days ago that the personal staff of ministers in the state are entitled to a pension if they work for two years. When I was the Union Minister, I had 11 personal staff members. In Kerala, all the ministers have more than 20 members. Personnel staff employed on a co-termination basis in any other state are not eligible for pension benefit. However, that is not the case here," he said.

"The aim of these appointments are political. The appointees resign after two years in office and are replaced by new ones. Here the only goal is pension benefits. Later, these staff will resume work for the party," he added.

He stated that the issue was brought to the attention of the chief minister before his opening address in the state assembly. It was brought to the notice of the Chief Minister.

It is the duty of the Governor to ensure that the decisions of the government are in accordance with the Constitution. I am only responsible for giving an explanation to the President, he added.

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