Thiruvananthapuram: While the state is facing a financial crisis, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan continues to appoint advisors. The latest in the series is the appointment of a special liaison officer to oversee government cases at the high court.
The new officer, Advocate A Velappan Nair belonging to Kadavanthra in Kochi, is tasked with supervising the cases involving the state government. He will draw a salary of Rs 1.10 lakh and will take the post that ranks with that of a Senior Government Pleader.
It seems the government machinery cannot leave the habit of profligacy even in the times of flood.
Soon after taking over as Chief Minister in 2016, Vijayan invited criticism by appointing advisors in various fields including media, press, finance, law and development.
The latest appointment comes when A. Velappan Nair, a senior advocate, is already there to advise the government in the field of law. The state government also enjoys the services of the Advocate General, his deputy, and over hundreds of advocates.
Velappan Nair was earlier the additional private secretary of former minister Elamaram Kareem. He will be based at the Advocate General’s office. The Special Liaison Officer is also responsible for tracking the progress of the cases handled by the Advocate General.
Velappan Nair’s salary was fixed considering the revised pay scale of pleaders. His basic pay is Rs 75,000 and perks include telephone-internet allowance of Rs 1,000, travel allowance of Rs 19,000 and Rs 14,000 to buy periodicals and books.
The appointment of Velappan Nair had received Cabinet nod two weeks ago, but the order was issued only now.
Reacting to the appointment of a new advisor, two-time Congress Chief Minister Oommen Chandy: "People of Kerala are observing and watching all this. This new appointment comes at a time when the state is passing through difficult times."
The Congress-led UDF is likely to soon come out with a detailed account of the state's finances as the state government is busy taking loans from wherever possible.