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Leave surrender restored

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JUNE 10. The Cabinet on Thursday decided to restore the leave surrender benefits to Government employees. The Chief Minister, A. K. Antony, told presspersons after the Cabinet meeting that the Government had been restoring benefits taken away from the employees two years ago in steps. "A satisfied civil service was a must for good governance."

He said that certain benefits had to be taken away when the present Government came to power on account of the financial crisis in the State. Some of them had already been restored. "The Government wished to give more financial benefits to the employees," he added.

The Government would be taking measures to find additional financial resources. It also expected a better deal from the Finance Commission, he said when asked about the mounting debts of the State that had crossed the Rs. 41,000 crore mark.

Trawling ban

The Cabinet also decide to impose a 45-day ban on trawling from the midnight of June 14.

The annual trawling ban is intended to conserve fish resources as many species of fish breed during the monsoon.

The Cabinet also decided to issue temporary registration for the houses of fishermen on the beaches and issue them ration cards.

Mr. Antony said that the fishermen suffered much on account of the coastal zone regulations. Many had no title deeds for the land on which houses stood. These houses would now be issued temporary house numbers so that they could get power connections. Necessary directions for this would be issued to the local self-governments.

He said that the Government would also be taking steps to solve the shortage of kerosene needed by the outboard engines of fishermen.

He recalled that the Government had decided to give emphasis to the agriculture, fisheries and traditional industries sectors. The facilities at Government hospitals used by the poor would be improved.

No CBI inquiry

The Chief Minister announced that the there would not be any CBI inquiry into the Marad massacre. The Cabinet had accepted the recommendations of the Advocate General in this respect. (The legal opinion given by the Advocate General was against a CBI inquiry).

MoU approved

The Cabinet has also approved the MoU to be signed with the promoters for the revival of the Travancore Rayons Limited.

He said that a Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes would be set up in the State. It would be modelled on the Commission in Karnataka.

He said that only the Minister for Culture, G. Karthikeyan, would be attending the FOKANA (Federation of Kerala Associations in North America) meet in the United States this year. The Government decided not to send more Ministers this time because of the forthcoming Assembly session, he said.

The Kottayam Collector, Ajith Kumar, would be posted as Director of Public Instruction. L. Radhakrishnan would be appointed as Director of Industries.

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