No Onam celebrations at govt offices during work hours: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

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As the ‘Onam’ festival is around the corner, the CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala on Friday asked its employees to ensure that celebrations were not held at offices during work hours as it was “not appropriate”. The festival will be celebrated in the second week of September.

Making the government’s stand clear, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a Facebook post that ‘Onam’ (harvest) festivities are normally held at all the offices in the state.

“It is not appropriate and proper that such festivities, including laying of ‘pookalams’ (floral carpets), are held at offices during office hours,” he wrote.

The chief minister suggested that the celebrations could instead be held on holidays or after the office hours. “Not only Onam, for that matter, any festival celebrations should be held without affecting the functioning of office work. In this matter, government would ensure its intervention,” he wrote on the social networking website.

Vijayan said buying and selling of various articles on office premises during the festive season would also be restricted as these activities consume a major chunk of work hours. He reminded the government employees of his earlier statement stressing on punctuality, early clearing of files and every employee being in their seats during the work hours.

The Chief Minister said proper functioning of government offices meant settling of issues connected to the people in time. For this, he said interventions and vigil were necessary. Vijayan had, in June, warned the government employees against delaying decisions on files and had asked them to shed the “colonial, negative” attitude of “examining files” to deny the public the benefits.

“Each file has a throbbing life behind it and the employees should examine them with a positive attitude,” he had stated.

After marking their attendance, the employees should be in their seats, not spend time on literary and other pursuits and also exercise self restraint in using mobile phones during work hours, the Chief Minister had stated. The corrupt and those failing to discharge their duties in time would not get any protection, he had publicly stated at a meeting of Secretariat employees.

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