Fool-proof system soon to ensure full salaries for temporary staff: Nitin Patel

Patel was replying to a supplementary question asked by Congress MLA Punja Vansh during the Question Hour discussions on the recruitment for National Rural Health Mission (NHRM).

In order to ensure temporary employees working for the Government of Gujarat get their full salaries, a “fool-proof” system will soon be put in place that will help the government directly transfer the salaries to the employees through an escrow account, Nitin Patel, deputy chief minister of Gujarat told the Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday.

“Under this system, all the money payable to the outsourced employees — be it salaries or any other allowances — will be given directly. About 80-90 per cent of work on this system is finished and after this assembly session is over, I will take it up on priority,” said Patel who also holds the health portfolio, while speaking about the government’s plan “for all outsourced employees in all cadres and departments”.

Patel was replying to a supplementary question asked by Congress MLA Punja Vansh during the Question Hour discussions on the recruitment for National Rural Health Mission (NHRM).

“We remember the statement of the old government, where 95 paise of the Rs 1 sent by the Government of India never reached the people it was intended for. We want to change this. We will ensure that the employees receive their full salaries,” he added.

Leader of the Opposition, Paresh Dhanani, pointed out that the BJP government in Gujarat has been running largely by hiring employees on fixed wages, contract or outsourced employees since 2006.

“Two firms based in Bhavnagar — MJ Solanki and Associates and M/s BG Nagrani and Associates — has been handling outsourced employees in all the government departments, boards and corporations. The labour and employment department had served noticed to these firms as they were only giving 50-60 per cent of the salaries meant for the employees. A suggestion to blacklist the two firms was also made. One department blacklists the firms and these firms continue to operate in other departments,” Dhanani said.

The LoP also pointed out that there were about 6.93 lakh employees who are on fixed pay, outsourced or are on contract. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani intervened in the discussion and said, “The government has a 10-year recruitment timetable and permanent recruitments have been taking place on a regular basis as per this timetable. The government also needs temporary workers. During Congress rule there was seven-year freeze on recruitment… We have hired people on contract and through outsourcing so that we can improve the delivery of our services. We are giving Rs 50,000-60,000 to a doctor as per the contract… There is no exploitation. In Vadodara we are giving Rs 85,000.”
Patel said that the Rupani government since it came to power had recruited 1.25 lakh people as permanent employees in various departments. “To tackle excess work and services for the people, we are hiring temporary workers… irrespective of which agency it is, it is our responsibility to ensure that good work happens. If they indulge in any wrong practices, we take action,” he said.

Talking about NHRM, Patel said the scheme was in place since 2005. “The National Rural Health Mission is a Government of India scheme. The grants provided by the Centre for providing health services in rural areas includes money for recruitment, purchase of equipment,etc. It is their rule to hire on contract for 11 months. The salary scales are also pre-decided,” Patel added.

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