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Be generous to poor during lockdown, says Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to employees

Be generous to poor during lockdown, says Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to employees

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  5 April 2020 3:40 AM GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The State government has appealed to its employees to help out five poor families on an average in their neighbourhood. This is an appeal made in the spirit of fellow feeling during the lockdown to fight against corona. On its part, the State government is going to float a website – Assam Care – on which every employee helping out the poor “in-kind” can upload his/her photograph.

State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We’ve over 5 lakh State government employees who’ll get their salaries on April 9 or 10. A fourth-grade employee can help out three poor families of his neighbourhood and the Chief Secretary can extend such help to 10 poor families. Other employees can also equitably help the poor. Such generosity can give succour to around 25 lakh poor families in the State.

“The current crisis has led many States to cut the salaries of their employees. We’re not taking any such measure now. However, we’re going to accept the one-day’s salaries as a donation to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as announced by the SAKP (Sadou Asam Karmachari Parishad), but that’s also not mandatory. If any employee doesn’t want his/her salary cut, we won’t compel him/her for the donation. A day’s salary of the employees will bear the cost of one of the five pre-fabricated hospitals in the State.”

Sarma added, “The fiscal health of the State is not sound now. Our own sources of income have gone dry. We can’t estimate as to what amount we’ll get as Central’s share. In such a crisis, generosity from the affluent people can bail out the poor.”

On the announcement made by the State government to extend $2000 to each of the people of Assam stranded abroad, Sarma said, “We’ve already deposited Rs 15.80 lakh in the personal accounts of 21 such people. We’re going to deposit in phases such amounts in the personal accounts of the remaining stranded people.”

The Minister further stated that the Government of India has announced an insurance of Rs 50 lakh for each of the health employees. “However, this insurance scheme doesn’t cover employees engaged in 108 Ambulance service and 104 call centre. From the State government’s end, we’re going to pay each of them an extra amount of Rs 1,000 along with their salaries for three months. The Central government has already announced the payment of Rs 1,000 extra to ASHA workers for three months,” Sarma said.

Meanwhile, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that an amount of Rs 15.36 crore has already been deposited by various donors in the ‘Assam Arogya Nidhi’. He has appealed to the people for making more such donations.

Also Read: Assam is faced with a fresh challenge apart from Tablighi returnees: Himanta Biswa Sarma

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