AL Hek
AL Hek. Image credit - Northeast Now

Meghalaya health minister AL Hek said a full amount of Rs 2,000 per month per ASHA will be paid for six months from January to June this year.

The amount will be paid irrespective of the performance of the ASHAs as per the directives of the Central government due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Meghalaya has a total of 6,778 ASHA workers which include 6,568 in rural and 210 in the urban area.

“An additional amount of Rs 1,000 per month per ASHA has also been approved by the Central government as incentives to ASHAs for carrying out COVID-19 activities from the period of their engagement between January and June,” Hek said in the Assembly on the second day of the re-assembled budget session on Thursday.

Hek said this in reply to a call attention moved by Congress legislator from Nongpoh Mayralborn Syiem.

According to Hek, the Centre had sanctioned Rs 25,36,91,500 under the Maternity Benefit Scheme & ASHA Benefit Scheme in March 2018-19 to clear the dues of the ASHAs.

The total amount paid by the districts till March 31 last year was Rs 22,70,31,552.

“Payment by the district health societies are ongoing for all backlogs from the inception of the scheme up to March 2018, and the funds available with the districts as on March 31, 2020 was Rs 5, 12, 73, 601,” Hek said.

He also informed that the state government has released Rs 10.14 crore for clearing the pending dues of ASHAs in the state.

“An amount to the tune of Rs 10,14,67,000 has been released to the districts on May 5, which is inclusive of the pending dues to be paid to ASHAs under the national health mission (NHM),” Hek said.

Due to COVID19 pandemic, Hek announced that the full amount of Rs 2,000 per month per ASHA will be paid irrespective of their performances for the period of January to June, this year as per the Government of India directives.

Hek also informed that due to COVID19 pandemic, each of the ASHAs of East Khasi Hills district has been provided with 3-ply masks, reusable cloth masks, hand wash/hand sanitizers, gloves to enable them to carry out activities related to COVID19.

He said the health department has also issued 500 raincoats on May 12 to be distributed for ASHAs of the district who are assigned duty in the containment zones.

“For ASHAs of other districts (in green zones), they have been provided with 3-ply mask, reusable cloth mask, hand wash and hand sanitizers,” the minister informed.

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