Telangana

Slashing salaries is ridiculous, says Congress

Demands white paper on State finances

Telangana Congress has strongly opposed the decision of State government to slash the salaries of employees and described it as ‘hasty’ and ‘ill-timed’.

In separate statements here, Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkata Reddy, former minister Shabbir Ali and TPCC treasurer Gudur Narayan Reddy accused Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao of demoralising the government staff who are working overtime to save people in this hour of crisis, and cuts in payment for pensioners was ridiculous.

Mr. Venkata Reddy demanded that the Chief Minister first release a white paper on the funds spent by the State government to deal with the coronavirus and the estimated revenue loss to the State’s exchequer due to lockdown. If just eight days of lockdown has forced government to reduce salaries by 50% it shows that there is something seriously wrong with the State finances, he said. “This is happening in a State where the CM day-in and day-out claims Telangana was the richest State in the country,” he said.

Mr. Narayan Reddy said every month the State Government spends nearly ₹ 1900 crore on Salaries and nearly ₹ 860 crore on pensions. By affecting a cut by 50% in salaries and pensions, the State government, on an average, could save about ₹ 1370 crore in a month. “The Chief Minister should first give details of amount spent on treatment of coronavirus patients, including the cost on quarantine centres, upgradation of existing health infrastructure, establishment of new hospitals and related expenses. Further, he should come up with details on likely impact of coronavirus lockdown on the State’s economy,” he said.

He said Finance Minister Harish Rao presented a budget of ₹ 1,82,914 crore for the financial year 2020-21 only 22 days ago. He has projected a revenue surplus of ₹ 4,482 crore in financial year beginning Wednesday. Even if the overall expenditure and losses due to coronavirus reaches ₹ 20,000 crore, then it would be around 10% of total budget. “The Chief Minister cannot force the employees and pensioners to bear the burden for his inability to manage State’s finance in an effective manner,” he said.

Mr. Shabbir Ali said that the State government took the decision at a wrong time as it would demoralise the entire staff. “One can imagine the reaction of doctors or nurses, who are working relentlessly to treat coronavirus patients. They will be in an emotional shock and it will have a directly impact on their performance,” he said.

Further, a cut in the pensioners’ amount by 50% was ‘insane’. “All retired employees have no other sources of living. They spend a large part of the pension amount on medical bills and food. How will they manage with just only 50% amount?” he asked.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:10:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/slashing-salaries-is-ridiculous-says-congress/article31220777.ece

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