Order on staff salary in temples with revenue up to Rs.10 lakh

The INTUC-led Malabar Devaswom Board Staff Union staged a protest on Friday against a recent government order (GO) that the employees fear will land them and temples in a debt trap.

The union also condemned the board’s failure to pay salary arrears.

INTUC district president M. Rajan, in a statement, alleged the president of Malabar Devaswom Board had even refused to discuss the issue with the union’s representatives.

Union general secretary V. Sreenivasan said employees of temples having an annual revenue of less than Rs.15 lakh had not been paid salary for 20 months. He also alleged a recent government order on payment of salary would further deepen the financial crisis of employees in temples that had an annual income of less than Rs.10 lakh.

Till recently, 30 per cent of salary needed for employees of temples having annual income of up to Rs.10 lakh was being paid out of temple funds and the rest from Malabar Devaswom Board Fund.

However, a recent government order had changed the arrangement in such a way that 50 per cent salary had to be met from temple funds and the rest from Malabar Devaswom Board fund.

The new order would lead to a situation in which temples with up to Rs.10 lakh revenue would not be able to conduct festivals or even daily ceremonies, Sreenivasan alleged.

The Malabar Devaswom Board staff union sought 70 per cent of funds from the Board for prompt payment of salary and appointment of executive officers in all temples.

Mr. Sreenivasan said arrears of salary were due from January 2012. “Nearly 3,000 employees in 800 temples have been adversely affected by the government order,” Mr Sreenivasan said.

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