Bhubaneswar: Acknowledging the services provided by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday announced one-time honorarium of `10,000 for them for purchase of steel almirah, bi-cycle, umbrella, rechargeable torch and other articles.
Naveen made the announcement while addressing people through videoconferencing under Ama Mukhya Mantri Ama Katha (Our CM our issues) programme.
He also announced a hike in the existing cash incentive of `10,000 to `20,000. As per the exiting policy, a one-time financial benefit of `10,000 is provided to the ASHAs for 10 years of service.
“The ASHA workers play a pivotal role in healthcare service. Especially in the rural areas, their service in helping the women and children as well as making people aware of health and hygiene is commendable. Due to them, Odisha has made a mark in the country in checking infant and maternal mortality rates significantly,” Naveen said.
“I believe the ASHAs will work more dedicatedly and help in providing better healthcare service to the rural populace,” he added.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena said that this incentive will help the 46,695 ASHAs and the state government is targeting to increase their strength to 47,147 soon. At present, ASHAs are getting monthly conditional remuneration of `2,000 effect from April 1, 2018 on discharging of five mandatory and four assured activities. An incentive amount totaling `117.82 crore has been paid to the ASHAs in 2017-18. This new announcement will put an extra burden of `50 crore on the state exchequer.