The government needs huge funds, not only to fight the highly infectious COVID-19, but also to feed crores of people starving due to loss of their work to earn daily wages.
Soon after asking ministers to contribute part of their salary to lend a helping hand in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has urged its employees to contribute one day’s salary of April 2020, which is payable in May, towards the same. The pay deducted from the salary of employees will be contributed to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund).
The Department of Revenue said in a circular said that it has decided to appeal to the officers and staff of the Department to contribute their one day’s salary every month till March 2021 to the PM CARES Fund.
However, the Circular also said, “Any officer or staff having objection to it may intimate Drawing & Disbursing Officer, Department of Revenue in writing mentioning his/her employee code latest by 20.04.2020.”
The employees of other departments, except those involved actively in the fight against COVID-19, may also have to contribute one day’s pay from their monthly salary to the Fund. However, this may be voluntary.
It may be noted that with the economic activities coming to almost standstill due to nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, the government needs huge funds, not only to fight the highly infectious disease, but also to feed crores of people starving due to loss of their work to earn daily wages.
Moreover, prolonged support may be needed, as there are chances that the lockdown would translate into a vicious sequence of stalled production, manufacturing and construction, delays in loan repayments and debt servicing to banks and an overall slump in demand due to uncertainties in employment and salary cuts.