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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 April 2024

Kerala Government assures unaffected salary and pension disbursement amid financial crisis

He emphasised the government's commitment to providing welfare pensions and mentioned recent protests in Delhi by the Chief Minister, Ministers, and MLAs

PTI Thiruvananthapuram Published 04.03.24, 02:07 PM
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan File photo

The Kerala government, grappling with a severe financial crisis as the end of the financial year approaches, has assured that the disbursal of salaries and pensions for government employees will not be affected despite alleged withholding of funds by the Centre.

State Finance Minister K N Balagopal announced during a press conference on Monday that the salary disbursement process would commence immediately and be completed within three days.

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Balagopal attributed the delay in salary disbursement to a technical issue concerning the withdrawal of funds in a single transaction.

He said that a maximum withdrawal limit of Rs 50,000 per day has been imposed to mitigate potential banking system disruptions.

Facing criticism from opposition parties, including the Congress-led UDF and the BJP, Balagopal placed the blame on the Centre for the state's financial predicament.

He highlighted that this marks the first instance in history where the Centre has not allocated funds to a state in March.

Despite the financial challenges, Balagopal reassured that there are sufficient funds in the treasury to cover salaries and pensions.

He emphasised the government's commitment to providing welfare pensions and mentioned recent protests in Delhi by the Chief Minister, Ministers, and MLAs.

The Finance Minister accused the Centre of withholding Rs 13,608 crore owed to the state since the state government filed a case in the Supreme Court.

He expressed optimism that the Supreme Court's ruling would be favorable for the state in the upcoming hearing.

Balagopal's statement came after a section of government employees allied with the opposition trade unions launched an indefinite strike on Monday due to the delay in the disbursement of government employees' salaries.

Criticising the Congress, the minister accused the opposition party of turning a blind eye towards the BJP-ruled Centre, which according to him, is strangulating the state government financially.

Two weeks ago, the Minister had said that the Centre's stance, which seeks the withdrawal of the case filed by Kerala in the Supreme Court for releasing its legitimate funds, demonstrates a heavy-handed approach against the state.

He expressed concern over the financial strain on the state and denounced the pressure tactics employed by the Centre.

Balagopal reiterated that filing a case in the Supreme Court is a constitutional right.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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