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Thiruvananthapuram, April 25, 2020
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Saturday that the state was going through a tough time due to its bad financial position.
"We are looking towards the Centre. We have raised the issue. We will raise it at the video conference with the Prime Minister again," said Vijayan.
Kerala had to be treated in a different way when financial packages would be prepared by the Centre, he added.
"We need an overall package, besides a special package for the returning diaspora. They will have to be rehabilitated," Vijayan said.
Earlier in the day, a month after the lockdown, Kerala Finance Minister said the state has been reeling under a huge financial crisis as all that the state government could raise in April was a mere Rs 250 crore.
"If we include what the Centre would give us, in all, we will be able to touch Rs 2,000 crore. For payment of salaries alone, we require Rs 2,500 crore," said Isaac to the media here.
"Then a way out is to draw from the Ways and Means and including overdraft it will come to Rs 2,500 crore. After that what happens would be, the treasury would be closed. Such is the situation that we are in," the Finance Minister said.
Isaac was peeved in the way the various staff organisations attached to the Congress-led UDF strongly opposed the suggestion that he put forward by 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, so as 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 and it would happen from next month, when six days salary every month will be cut for five months," said the economist turned Finance Minister, Isaac.
"We have decided that this is the only way out and we will collect that money and the state government can always contribute to the CM's fund. This money would be used for the needs of the suffering. We will repay the money," he added.