Rs 10.14 crore earmarked for clearing ASHAs pending dues

Shillong, May 21: The Meghalaya government has released Rs 10.14 crore for clearing pending dues of ASHAs in the state.

This was informed by health minister AL Hek while replying to a call attention moved by Congress legislator from Nongpoh Mayralborn Syiem in the State Assembly on Thursday.

“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 the paid to the ASHAs under the national health mission (NHM),” Hek said.

Meghalaya has a total 6778 ASHAs which include 6568 in rural and 210 in urban area.

In view of the current COVID-19 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.

“An additional amount of Rs 1,000 per month per ASHA has also been approved by the Government of India as incentives to ASHAs for carrying out COVID-19 activities from the period of their engagement between January up to June,” he said.

The minister further said the Centre had sanctioned Rs 25,36,91,500 under the Maternity Benefit Scheme & ASHA Benefit Scheme during March 2018-19 to clear the dues to ASHA.

The total amount paid by the districts till March 31, 2019 is Rs 22, 70, 31, 552.

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

Meanwhile, Hek informed that during COVID-19 pandemic, each ASHA of East Khasi Hills have been provided with 3 ply mask, reusable cloth mask, handwash/hand sanitizers, gloves to enable them in carrying out activities related to COVID-19.

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

For ASHA of other districts (green zone), he said they have been provided with 3 ply mask, reusable cloth mask and handwash and handsanitizers.