Indian leaders take 30% salary cut

India’s President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Governors of all states and members of both Houses of Parliament, will take a 30 percent cut in their salaries this year as part of their social responsibility to fight the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.

India’s new financial year began on 1st April. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union cabinet today, Prakash Javadekar, the designated minister who briefs on meetings of the Union Council of Ministers, told reporters.

Modi had yesterday consulted several opposition leaders and got their approval for the measure. President Kovind will now issue an ordinance sanctioning the cut since Parliament went into recess a few weeks ago in view of rising COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, Rajesh Tope, Health Minister of the state of Maharashtra, said the country-wide lockdown, which entered its thirteenth day today could be extended in the state capital of Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra by two more weeks when the shutdown runs its course on 14th April in the rest of India.

Among India’s states, Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of 45 deaths from COVID-19. The highest number of confirmed cases, now at 690, is also from Maharashtra.

In India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, with 227 cases, Additional Chief Secretary, Awanish Awasthi, today refused to give any assurance that the lockdown will end on 14th April.

"Since the number of Coronavirus cases has gone up markedly in the past couple of days, it would not be right to say that the lockdown will be lifted after 14th April. Lifting it would not be right as the entire work done so far to control the virus would go in vain," the senior civil servant said.

India’s total number of COVID-19 cases today rose to 4,067 and the number of deaths to 109, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare here. A total of 291 persons have been cured of the disease.

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