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Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa interacts with people during the nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Bengaluru (Photo: PTI)
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa interacts with people during the nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Bengaluru (Photo: PTI)

Covid-19: Karnataka directs private sector not to layoff employees, cut wages

  • The order comes at a time when small businesses and large corporations have announced job cuts due to the lockdown
  • The BS Yediyurappa-led government wants to relax lockdown restrictions in the next 15 days for some sectors

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government has directed the private sector in the state not to layoff employees and cut wages due to the nationwide lockdown that has brought nearly all economic and business activities to a standstill.

“The labour department has issued a circular directing the private sector employers to abstain from layoffs or unpaid leaves during this countrywide lockdown. Employees would be paid wages on the due date without any deduction during this period," Shivaram Hebbar, Karnataka’s minister for labour department and sugar, said on social networking website Twitter late on Monday.

According to the directive, the private sector has been asked not to layoff employees, especially casual and contract labourers.

The order comes at a time when small businesses and large corporations alike have announced cuts in jobs due to the lockdown that has now been extended till 3 May.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of the 21-day national lockdown, that was to end today, till 3 May to continue the Centre's and state government's efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.

In Karnataka, the BS Yediyurappa-led government wants to relax restrictions over the next 15 days for some sectors and allow essential economic activity to resume. The state also hopes to bring in much needed capital to battle the covid-19 crisis.

“The order is applicable if you are a labourer/worker and you lost the job due to covid-19 related issue," captain Manivannan, Karnataka’s labour and information department secretary posted on Twitter. In another post, he said the Disaster Management Act, 2005, gives the state the power to enact such an order.

Manivannan clarified that the order is only for March. The state will first hold discussions with stakeholders and will decide whether to issue similar orders for April and May.

“Governments are also equally interested in investments, if not more. The order is for March. For April and May, there will be a stakeholders discussions before any order," he posted, responding to a specific query on protecting investor interest.

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