Kerala is broke: State FM Isaac

Updated: Apr 26, 2020, 07:45 IST | Agencies | Thiruvananthapuram

Isaac was peeved at the way the various staff organisations attached to the Congress-led UDF strongly opposed the suggestion of requesting all state government employees to contribute one month's salary to the CM COVID Relief Fund

Finance Minister Thomas Isaac
Finance Minister Thomas Isaac

A month after the lockdown, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Saturday said that the state has been reeling under huge financial crisis as all that the state government could raise in April was a mere R250 crore. "If we include what the Centre would give us in all, we will be able to touch R2,000 crore. For payment of salaries, we require R2,500 crore," said Isaac.

"Then, a way out is to draw from the Ways and Means System (WAMS) and, including overdraft, it will come to R2,500 crore. After that the treasury would be closed. Such is the situation that we are in," the Finance Minister said. Isaac was peeved at the way the various staff organisations attached to the Congress-led UDF strongly opposed the suggestion of requesting all state government employees to contribute one month's salary to the CM COVID Relief Fund.

"We are at a loss to gauge the mentality of such people who opposed our request. We demanded it to help our people who are suffering. Since they have opposed, we could not go forward with it. Hence we have decided to cut the salary of all. It will start from next month. Salary for six days every month will be cut for the next five months," said the former economist Isaac.

Meanwhile, with the Centre considering repatriation of the Indian diaspora who wish to return to Kerala, a state minister said the government is ready to accept whatever the number is. State Minister for Higher Education KT Jaleel said that one lakh people are likely to return. According to studies, there are an estimated 2.5 million Keralites, 90 per cent of them in various Middle East countries.

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