Government employees in Maharashtra will get their salaries for March in two instalments as the state fears the economic repercussions of the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Elected representatives, such as the chief minister, Cabinet ministers and MLAs, will be paid only 40% of their salaries in March, and the rest at a later date “when the situation improves”, PTI reported on Tuesday.

Class A and B government employees, ranging from the rank of secretaries to desk officers, will get only 50% of their salaries for March and the rest later. Clerical staff in Class C will get 75% of their remunerations this month, while Class D employees, such as peons and office assistants, will get their full salaries, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said.

“I hope the employees and their unions will extend their wholehearted support to the government in this unprecedented challenge we are facing,” Pawar said. He said the decision was taken after consultation with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and employee unions.

“The state’s economy has been affected by the coronavirus crisis and reduction in resources due to ongoing lockdown,” Pawar said. The decision will also apply to semi-government organisations and aided educational institutions.

On Monday night, the Telangana government had announced massive salary cuts for government officials.

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The Telangana government announced salary cuts as high as 75% for all its executives, political representatives and employees in view of the lockdown. 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%.

India reported its sharpest spike in the number of the coronavirus cases on Monday 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.

Many people from across the country who tested positive for Covid-19 had attended a religious event in Nizamuddin area of Delhi or were close contacts of the participants. Health Minister Satyendra Jain said 24 people staying at the mosque have tested positive for the coronavirus.