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Yediyurappa warns of salary cuts for govt employees Chief minister cites the state’s worsening financial position

Government employees may have to face salary cuts next month, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa warned on Monday, as the coronavirus-driven lockdown has worsened the state’s precarious financial condition. 

“Our financial position isn’t alright. Still, for the sake of our employees, I decided that they should get their salary for the month of April. Depending on how the coronavirus will be controlled, we will have to discuss how much we can pay and how much we should cut in next month’s salary,” Yediyurappa said in an interview to a Kannada news channel. 

Karnataka has over five lakh government employees. It is estimated that the government will need Rs 33,000 crore to pay salaries in the 2020-21 fiscal, which, along with other committed expenditure, makes up nearly 90% of the state’s revenue receipts. 

“And it’s not just ours. The financial position of all states and even the Centre is not good,” the chief minister said. “Everything has been cut. Our revenues have gone down. Development works have come to a standstill. We’re just sitting with our hands tied, not knowing what to do. We hope the situation returns to normal by April 14 so we can start economic activities,” he said. 

According to Yediyurappa, districts in the state where there are no positive cases can be given some relaxation after April 14. But everything depends on what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in mind, he added. “The way things are now, I don’t think the lockdown will end on April 14. It’ll end only when people fully cooperate and don’t come out of their homes. If it continues, people will be responsible for it themselves,” he said. 

He lamented that the lockdown enforcement in the state was under 75%. “Why should people come out to buy vegetables everyday despite making all essential goods available,” he asked.

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