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Implement 5-day Workweek to Increase Productivity, Karnataka Minister Urges Kumaraswamy

The Karnataka Chief Minister also holds the portfolio to the department of personnel and administrative reforms, so it would be up to him to bring this proposal before the cabinet.

Stacy Pereira |

Updated:October 3, 2018, 9:24 PM IST
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Implement 5-day Workweek to Increase Productivity, Karnataka Minister Urges Kumaraswamy
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Bengaluru: A letter from Karnataka's social welfare minister Priyank Kharge to the state government suggesting a five-day workweek for government employees in Karnataka has suddenly become a hot topic of discussion in the corridors of power.

While Kharge had sent the letter back in August, it has come to public knowledge only recently. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye: the minister claims that the intention behind the proposal was to “optimize human resource, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism”.

Speaking to CNN-News 18, the Chittapur MLA said that the suggestion hadn't come from any government employees or unions but it was his personal opinion. He rubbished critics for looking at it with a myopic view by reducing it to a five-day workweek debate.

"Nowhere have I said not to compensate for that (the current Monday-Saturday cycle). My suggestion was to increase the daily working hours, instead of coming in at 10:30 am, they could come in at 9:30 am instead," he said.

"The state government observes several ‘jayantis’ celebrating birth, death and achievements of many great personalities in history,” he added. “But, it was the same men who worked hard. By not working on those days, we would be disrespecting them."

The Karnataka minister, who is known for breaking conventions, compared the successful implementation of a five-day workweek for central government employees.

He said that all the employees could be brought on the same level if the state governments follow the same.

"If holidays are given on the basis of an individual’s choice, then we’ll be on the path of development. Basaveshwara taught us ‘Work is Worship’, but in the name of such people, we give holidays,” the minister said.

When Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy was asked about it, he said that it would have to be discussed in the cabinet, following which it could become a reality.

The Chief Minister also holds the portfolio to the department of personnel and administrative reforms, so it would be up to him to bring this proposal before the cabinet.
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