KHOTANG, April 6: As the central government fails to distribute salaries on time, health workers in various local units of Khotang have been deprived of their salaries for the past five months.
The delay in the distribution of salaries has made it challenging for the health workers of Rawabesi Rural Municipality, Halesi Tuwachung Municipality among others to manage their expenses. They lament this has led them to under-performance.
There are altogether 29 staffers at the health post of Rawabesi Rural Municipality and none of them have received their salaries since last November.
Mani Adhikari, an assistant health worker at the Dumredharapani Health Post, informed Republica that some eight health workers have not even received the uniform allowance of the last fiscal year. "It has been difficult for us to put the same dedication to our jobs as we are struggling to manage our household expenses despite having a job," said Adhikari. Kamal Phuyal, an assistant health worker of Hauchur Health Post of Rawabesi Rural Municipality says he has not received his salary since the beginning of the current fiscal year.
Phuyal was transferred to Rawabesi from Okhaldhunga in mid-July last year but he has not been paid yet. As the limited budget sent by the government was spent before Dashain, health workers of Rawabesi have not received any payment since. After waiting for long, Halesi Tuwachung on Thursday managed two months' salary for its health workers from its internal fund.
On March 11, health workers of 11 wards in Halesi submitted an application to the municipality seeking their salaries. Iwan Rai, mayor of Halesi, stated that it has been hard for the local unit to manage their salaries. "We have time and again knocked on the doors of the health ministry, and repeatedly mailed to the local administration ministry as well but in vain," said Mayor Rai.
According to him, the local unit dealt with the same problem last year as well. There are eight rural municipalities and two municipalities in Khotang and most of them are struggling to pay their health workers. Meanwhile, those deprived of salaries accuse the local government of not doing enough to solve this problem.