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EC nod for Kerala to implement Pay commission report

Written by: Staff
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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 17 (UNI) The Election Commission (EC) today gave its approval to the Kerala Government to implement the Pay Commission recommendations, strictly adhering to the EC norms.

''The EC has no objection to the implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations by the state government in the changed scenario. But the recommendations should be implemented strictly adhering to EC norms and without including any variations in it,'' Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon told reporters here after reviewing the poll arrangements in the state.

However, the EC disallowed the government from signing the final agreement for the ambitious Smart City IT joint venture with the Dubai Internet City, as it was felt it would be against the Model Code of Conduct.

Mr Tandon said the decision on the Pay Commiussion recommendations was arrived at after hearing all the political parties and taking into consideration the resolution passed unanimously by the Kerala Assembly urging the EC to allow the government to implement the report.

Besides representatives of six national and five state parties, the views of State Finance Minister Vakkom Purushothaman was also heard on the subject, Mr Tandon said.

''Earlier, the EC refused permission as the state government took the decision on the effective date on March 1, when the code of conduct came into effect. It was also felt it will disturb the level playing field of political parties,'' he said.

Elaborating on the poll preparations in the state, Mr Tandon said though Photo Identity Cards were mandatory for those having them, others could provide alternative documents.

The EC will also look into complaints of political parties about violation of the model code of conduct. They had been asked to intimate the commission about violations.

He also said that the EC will take a reasonable approach to certain suggestions like implementation of the drought relief work.

''The government should have to forward to us the specific areas that need to be addressed and then the commission would review it.'' Noting the EC's primary view was to ensure peaceful and fair polling, he said videography would be taken and digital cameras installed in sensitive booths.

The process of identifying sensitive and hyper-sensitive areas was on. There would be 203,33 polling stations for about 2.13 crore electorate with about 26,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

UNI PN GM VD KN1637

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