The Maharashtra government on Monday announced a near freeze in recruitment in the public sector due to the coronavirus outbreak affecting all areas in the state. According to a report in NDTV, these measures have been taken to shore up revenue and meet unavoidable expenditures like staff salaries so that important functions keep carrying on.

According to a government resolution (GR) issued by the finance department, hiring in all sectors except public health and medical education has been stopped. This outlines the measures the government is taking to ensure its assets don’t get depleted further.

The government has requested its various departments to avoid proposing any new schemes in the ongoing fiscal. News agency PTI quoted the GR mentioning that the state government will also not be spending on any new scheme it had undertaken from the start of 2020-21 fiscal.

The hiring procedure in the state is done by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), the Maharashtra State Board Of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) and the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) depending on the various departments.

Maharashtra is the worst affected state in terms of the COVID-19 situation in India. The state has registered more than 15,500 cases with a death toll crossing the 600 mark on Tuesday. Mumbai alone has registered more than 9,900 cases followed by Pune with 2,000 plus cases and Thane with 1,400 plus cases.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has set an ambitious target of zero cases of coronavirus in the state by the end of May 2020. On Monday, he expressed concern over people congregating on roads in some cities as soon as the lockdown was relaxed, added the NDTV report.

A statement from the chief minister’s office stated, “Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has expressed concern over people gathering in some cities the moment there is even a slight relaxation and has asked authorities to take care to ensure lockdown is followed. He has reiterated the need to ensure Maharashtra is entirely a green zone by end of May”.