28 September, 2020

Shirking Reality

Agitations against belt-tightening measures invite public ire

M.S.Prakash
Shirking Reality
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
The RBI directing the Kerala government last week to shut down its treasury after the state exceeded its overdraft limits is a sign of the financial crisis the A.K. Antony government is facing. The directive comes in the backdrop of the indefinite strike from February 6 by 5.5 lakh state government employees protesting against cost-cutting measures announced by the government. The strike has put Kerala on virtual hold and thrown civic facilities completely out of gear. The protests have, for the first time in the state, pitted the common citizenry against those striking work.

Indeed, there is very little sympathy for those protesting fiscal tightening measures announced by chief minister Antony. No downsizing was threatened but the CM said salaries to government staff for the next two months would be paid on the 15th of the month and leave surrender privileges would be cancelled. But the response from the employees—widely seen as a privileged and pampered lot in a state with high levels of unemployment—was a boycott of work which is invoking much public ire.

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