Kerala CM rejects fourth Saturday holiday for state government employees
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday, February 26, rejected the recommendation by the state Administrative Reforms Commission for providing a holiday to state government employees on the fourth Saturday. The suggestion was to bring the state government employees equivalent to the bank employees who have an off day on the fourth Saturday.
The Chief Minister's action came following the stringent opposition by the Left trade unions to the conditions put forward by the government for leave on the fourth Saturday.
The government had suggested lowering the number of casual leaves from 20 to 18 but the trade unions strongly objected to this suggestion including the Left trade unions. The government had also suggested increasing the working hours from the present timings of 10.15 am to 10 am and to conclude the work at 5.15 pm instead of 5 pm. The trade unions opposed the suggestion.
Sources in the General Administration department told IANS that the chief minister had shot down the recommendation of a fourth Saturday holiday to the government employees due to the trade unions opposing all suggestions made by the government.
Pinarayi on Saturday came down heavily on officials in the state government who were involved in the alleged Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) scam. “Some think that they can take advantage of the relief activities. A majority (of officials) are dedicated to their work. But some others are aiming at some gains. They think that their fraud will not be found out. But at this time, it is not difficult to keep surveillance and take action if any irregularities are found. Everyone should remember this. The government has already started an inquiry on those people (suspects). Government is not bound to bear the burden of people who tarnish the image of the state,” the Chief Minister said.
Earlier, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) had detected widespread misappropriation of the Kerala CMDRF funds allegedly by an organised network of government officials, doctors and agents after submitting forged medical certificates and other documents.