Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma during a press briefing on Wednesday

Shillong: Good news for Meghalaya government employees — the state government on Wednesday decided not to defer the salaries of government employees for the month of May, which is to be paid in June.

Salaries of government employees were deferred against the backdrop of the COVID-19 and the national lockdown which caused unprecedented economic disruption.

During a media briefing, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma informed that this precautionary step that the government had taken in April to defer the salaries was against the backdrop of the uncertainty in terms of the Central taxes which were supposed to receive.

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The government’s decision not to defer the salaries for this month has been taken after seeing a certain level of stability in the tax devolution from the Centre.

“There was also a situation where we felt that there could be a further decrease in the share of central taxes. Therefore keeping in mind the overall shares that we have received from the government of India, and though the central taxes have gone down but it has not gone down as much as we had expected. And it has not gone down also beyond what it was last month,” said Sangma.

He added that the government is constantly taking stock of this dynamic situation.

Sangma reiterated that the state’s own revenue collection for these months is much lesser than expected. And was hopeful that it will pickup in the next two months with the cautious opening up of the economy. Making investments in the health sector to fight COVID-19 continues to be the priority of the state. Given all this and also taking into consideration the request of the employees for withdrawal of the deferment, the government has decided to not enforce any salary deferment for the month May to be paid in June.

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Sangma also thanked the government employees for their understanding.

However, the future course of the action of the government would depend highly on the devolution of taxes from the centre.

Sangma said that in the future how we would be able to adjust to the situation would to a large extent depend on the devolution of the taxes from central government.

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The government had decided to defer 50% in the gross salary, in respect of the chief minister, deputy chief minister, ministers, All India Services Officers — IAS, IPS, IFS — and Central Services officers on deputation to the state government.

And a deferment of 35% in the gross salary of Group A and B officers and 25% in respect of Group C staff of all departments except all the officers and staff of the Departments of Health and Family Welfare and the Group C employee of Home (Police) and Home (Civil Defence and Home Guards).

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