The Telangana government on Monday night announced massive salary cuts as high as 75% for all its executives, political representatives and employees as the country’s economy suffers a whiplash amid the three-week countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, NDTV reported. The decision was taken at a high-level review meeting held earlier at Pragathi Bhavan to take stock of the financial position of the state at the time of the pandemic.

According to the proposed plan, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will take a 75% cut in his salary, along with all other members of his Cabinet, MLCs and MLAs in the state. Salaries of all state corporation chairpersons and representatives of local bodies will also be slashed by 75%.

There will be cuts for all Public Sector Undertakings, institutions that are receiving government grants, government employees and retirees.

For the bureaucrats in the state, the government has announced a 60% salary cut for Indian Administrative Services, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Services and other Central Service Officers.

Apart from this, a 50% cut has been announced in the salaries of other category of employees, the government said. For Class IV, outsourcing and contract employees, there will be a 10% cut in their salaries. All pensioners in the state will see a cut of 50% in their pension, while for Class IV employees who have retired, the government announced a 10% cut.

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Six people in Telangana who attended a religious congregation in New Delhi earlier this month have died of the coronavirus, the government said on Monday. A statement issued by the Chief Minister Office said the victims had attended the three-day religious congregation and contracted Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The government said two had died while undergoing treatment at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad, one each in Apollo Hospital and Global Hospital. Two other deaths were reported from Nizamabad and Gadwal.

India reported its sharpest spike in the number of the coronavirus cases on Monday – the seventh day of the lockdown – as 227 people tested positive in 24 hours, taking the country’s total to 1,251 with 32 deaths. Kerala has the highest number of positive cases at 202, followed by Maharashtra at 198. Delhi recorded 87 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 82 positive cases were reported from Uttar Pradesh.