The Karnataka State Government is contemplating to resume economic activities in a staggered manner after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the lockdown till May 3.
The government office would resume the functioning along with the private offices. Also, private vehicles, apart from auto-rickshaw and cabs, will be allowed to operate. Eateries and liquor shops are also likely to be opened with limited staffing depending upon the nature of the activity.
Government office with limited staff will be opened for the activity. Offices like sub-registrar, RTO, and several other government offices which generate revenue will be opened.
The reason being that Karnataka has been under lockdown for the past four weeks to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as an outcome; there is no revenue generation for the state, which has almost depleted the treasury.
The cash reserve available with the state would last no more than 45 days as per an official in the government. In order to increase the revenue generation, the state government is also contemplating auctioning of sites, also putting of any budgetary schemes and limiting unnecessary expenditure.
A source said that at the moment, all the focus of the government is on fighting COVID-19 and setting up five COVID hospitals in order to take care of the emergency and unforeseen situation.
The state government is the largest employer having thirty lakh employees; as a result, the government is considering the deferred payment to its employees. The volume of money that goes out of the State exchequer to pay salaries is Rs. 3500 crore and it shoots up to Rs. 5000 crore if the pension of the retired official is considered. The legislators have already taken a thirty percent pay cut for one year, and it could increase in the coming days when the government opts for deferred payment for its employees.
In March, the tax collection has suffered due to the lockdown of a pandemic, while in April, there is a complete lockdown barring the operations at the petrol pump station.
A source also stated that the next six months would be tough for the state. For a small business, GST relief has been given till June, and the big business hasn’t operated in the last one month.