Chandigarh: The Haryana government has decided to double the salary of all healthcare officials and workers who are tackling the Covid-19 outbreak in the state. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar made this announcement through a video address Thursday evening.
Haryana is the first state to take such a step to motivate health workers to continue their fight against the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.
“We have taken this decision after deliberations with the state health minister (Anil Vij). All those health officials, including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and class-4 employees working in hospitals, as well as staff working with ambulances and testing centres will be paid double the salary till this continues,” Khattar said.
However, the Haryana Congress has been quick to claim credit for the BJP-led government’s move. The party’s national spokesperson and former Haryana MLA Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “Dear KhattarJi, Deeply grateful for accepting Congress demand of doubling the pay of Doctors/Health Workers treating #Covid_19 patients. I again request you to extend the benefit to all Doctors/Health Workers. In absence of PPE’s/Masks, all of them are susceptible to COVID.”
The tweet added: “Spl. category of employees serving despite threat of #Covid_19 infection are-1. Police Officials who are on duty round the clock; 2. Safai Karamcharis serving tirelessly; 3. Elect. & Drinking Water employees. Pl give them benefit of double pay too.”
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Surjewala had, in a 31 March video press conference, asked the government to incentivise police personnel and sanitation workers, who, “along with the doctors and paramedical staff, are playing a pivotal role in our battle to check the spread of the deadly virus”.
“The police personnel and safai karamcharis of the state should be appreciated by the government by giving them a 50 per cent pay hike for three months, as their services are critical at this juncture,” Surjewala had said.