Salary Delay Plagues Kerala Government Employees for the First Time
Salary Delay Plagues Kerala Government Employees for the First Time

Kochi: Kerala faces an unprecedented situation as government employees experience delayed salaries for the first time in the state's history. Despite assurances from the Finance Minister, the practical fulfillment of timely payments seems challenging. Technical issues, such as fund transfers from the treasury to bank accounts, are cited as the primary reasons for the delay, with no indication of any serious underlying problems. However, concerns arise as the delay hints at a deeper fiscal crisis within the state.

With 2.75 lakh government employees expecting their salaries within the first three working days, uncertainty looms over whether all employees will be paid on time. Speculation suggests that only those scheduled to receive payment on the first working day may receive immediate disbursements, while others may receive fixed withdrawals or installments, potentially extending the total disbursement period until the 12th of the month.

Media reports paint a bleak picture for employees, highlighting the contrasting scenario where the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues receive their salaries promptly on the first day of the month. The Finance Department justifies this difference, citing the use of Treasury Savings Bank for officials and Employees Treasury Savings Bank (ETSB) accounts for employees. However, employees argue that their accounts remain frozen due to insufficient funds.

The blame game continues within the CPM-led Left Democratic Front, with the Chief Minister and cabinet members attributing the delay to the Union Government's alleged non-cooperation. Despite explanations from the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman regarding the actual situation, the Kerala Government remains steadfast in its stance. However, public perception is gradually shifting as people gain insight into the complexities of the situation.

Simultaneously, public discontent grows due to the state government's extravagant spending practices. Instances such as the allocation of a Rs 1.4 crore bus for cabinet travel, hefty expenditures on events like Nav Kerala Sadas and Mukhamukham programs, and extensive renovations of ministers' residences contribute to public frustration. Reports of Finance Minister K N Balagopal's lavish lunch for 400 ministry officials, featuring 32 dishes at a cost of Rs 5 lakhs, further exacerbate the situation.

In light of these developments, Keralites are left questioning where to place their hopes for a better quality of life and a brighter future.

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