The Mizoram government has decided to defer the payment of a part of the salaries of employees to deal with the economic slowdown caused by the outbreak of novel coronavirus, Chief Minister Zoramthanga said on Saturday.
There will be a deferment between 5 and 15 percent of the gross salaries of the employees to deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19, the chief minister said.
"It does not mean that this is a pay cut. The employees will be paid once the financial condition improves," Zoramthanga told a news conference.
The state government has been grappling with a financial crisis with a plunge in post-devolution revenue deficit grant (PDRDG), the share of taxes received from the Centre and also decline in Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection and the state's own revenue due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, Zoramthanga said.
He said that the state finance department has been directed to determine the salary deferment based on the category of employees and to ensure that no one, especially Group-D employees, are inconvenienced.
As salary payment alone causes an outflow of about Rs 290 crore every month, there is a need to check the outflow by limiting the salary outgo, he said.
Altogether, there are 41,777 regular employees under the state government. Of this, 6,112 are in Group-A, 14,363 in Group-B, 18,363 in Group-C and 2,939 employees in Group-D. There are also thousands of contractual and muster roll employees.
Zoramthanga, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that the state government would enforce budgetary cut by reducing expenses on travel, supplies, grants-in-aid, major and minor works, telephone or internet bills among others. The budgetary cut will result in saving of about Rs 190 crore, he said.