Srinagar: Thousands of employees of health and family welfare department in the state are without salaries for the past ten months. They said that the situation has led their families virtually to the verge of starvation.
“We are more than three thousand employees working in the department in different districts of the valley. All of us remain unpaid for last ten to twelve months. The non-payment of salaries has made our survival difficult,” district president of family welfare employees for Anantnag , Parvez Ahmed told Kashmir Reader.
The health and family welfare scheme is a central sponsored scheme introduced long ago for improving health care particularly in rural areas. Most of the employees working under this scheme remain posted in sub-centers in rural areas. The 90 percent component of the funds for the salary of these employees were provided by the center while as ten percent was shared by the state. However two years ago, these employees said, the center halted the funds for the salary of the scheme seeking fund utilisation certificate from the state.
“The failure of the state to produce fund utilisation certificate to the center led to the complete halt of funds,” said a group of these aggrieved employees.
Ahmed said that earlier last year the then health minister Lal Singh had managed to get their salaries of few months released.
“From last two years we have been facing salary crisis. It is irony that some of our employees remain unpaid for last one year while others for ten months. We have not been able to clear the tuition fee of our children,” Ahmed said.
A multi-purpose health worker (MPHW) working in Anantnag medical block wishing anonymity said that due to the non-payment of salary for last ten months she is unable to buy even the medicine.
“I am suffering from many ailments and doctors have suggested some major tests but due to the non-payment of salary I have not been able to go through any of the tests. I have borrowed money from one of my relatives to clear the tuition fees of my two children studying at a private school,” she said.
Director, family welfare, Dr Sameer Matoo admitted that the employees remain unpaid for ten months but added that they are seriously deliberating over the issue.
“Actually the scheme was sponsored by the center which stopped funds for the same. Last time it was the state that had released funds for the salaries of these employees. The state has now decided to give salary to these employees out of its own budget from April onwards. And we are seriously deliberating as to how the pending salaries will be cleared,” Matoo told Kashmir Reader.