Ministers, other elected representatives as well as government officials in Maharashtra will get up to 60 per cent of their salary for March at a later date in view of the economic impact of coronavirus lockdown, it was announced on Tuesday. The pay freeze will exclude those involved in essential services.
Elected representatives including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, ministers and MLAs will get their salaries for March with 60 per cent deduction for now, Finance Minister Ajit Pawar announced.
A and B grade government employees will get their salaries with 50 percent deduction while C grade employees will get salaries with 25 percent cut for now. There will be no cut in the salaries of D grade employees.
"There will be no salary cut. Due to the coronavirus crisis, an economic crisis is expected. To ensure that things do not go out of hand, salaries will be paid in installments," Uddhav Thackeray said.
"Police, health workers, sanitation workerswill be given a priority in the disbursement of salaries. I request cooperation in this regard," the Chief Minister said.
Ajit Pawar, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said the decision was taken after consultation with Mr Thackeray and employee unions.
"The state's economy has been affected by the coronavirus crisis and reduction in resources due to ongoing lockdown," Mr Pawar said.
A resolution issued by the finance department said the salary for March, which is paid in April, will be paid in "two instalments" and the balance will be paid later.
The remaining amount will be paid later when the situation improves, a government official said when asked for clarification.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, all private establishments, industrial units are closed, which has reduced the state's revenues, the resolution said.
The salary freeze will also apply to semi-government organisations and aided educational institutions including universities, the notice added.
Earlier, Telangana had announced salary cuts ranging from 10 per cent to 75 per cent for its executive, political representatives and employees.
Maharashtra saw the biggest jump in coronavirus cases on Tuesday, registering 72 new patients, 59 of them in Mumbai alone, taking the total number of COVID-19 patients in the state to 302, a health official said.