The Meghalaya government on Tuesday said that it will defer the salary of many of its employees for two months as revenue falls in view of the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“The current unprecedented situation owing to COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdown is likely to cause reduction in the flow of tax and non-tax revenues of the state,” Additional Chief Secretary Finance Rebecca Suchiang said.
Stating that tax and non-tax revenue collected for April 2020 is very less compared to last year, she said, “The tax devolution from Government of India for April 2020 was Rs 76 crore less than the budget estimates. There is every likelihood that the size of the devolution in the coming months could be reduced.”
Therefore, Suchiang said there was a need for the state to manage its finances more carefully and to keep adequate funds for dealing with any health or relief-related emergency.
To put in place expenditure control and cash management for effective management of COVID-19 situation, the government has decided that for salaries to be paid for April and May 2020, there would be a deferment of 50 per cent in the gross salary of the chief minister, deputy chief minister and ministers.
The same would be applied as far as the gross salary in respect of All India Services Officers and central services officers on deputation to Meghalaya.
Moreover, there would be a deferment of 35 per cent in the gross salary of Group A and B officers, and 25 per cent in respect of Group C staff of all departments except for all the officers and staff of the health, home (police) and home (civil defence and home guards) departments.
The proportion of the deferment for Group A, B and C employees as already indicated would also be applicable to all the institutions being provided grant-in-aid (salary) by the state government except for Group C employees of the municipal boards.
However, there would be no deferment in the salary of Group D employees and pension payments.
The government stated that the measures are only for deferment of salaries and that the deductions will be paid back to the employees after the economic and fiscal situation improves.