Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Thursday directed officers to expeditiously resolve the issues behind non-payment of salaries to anganwadi workers. He pulled up the officers for ostensibly keeping him in the dark about the matter.
Over the past four months, anganwadi workers in the city have held several protests over non-payment of salaries, as well to demand increase of their honorarium. Sisodia directed the principal secretary (Finance) to call the Women and Child Development (WCD) secretary for a meeting, and hammer out a solution to release salaries to anganwadi workers immediately.
On Wednesday, Sisodia had written to Lt-Governor Anil Baijal flagging the issue. The “inefficiency” of the bureaucrats was behind the delay in payments to the workers, he had alleged in the letter.
He directed that the funds for this purpose may be released as a grant “under anticipation of approval for Revised Estimates or in the form of loan, advances, etc.” Meanwhile, Baijal wrote to Sisodia, stating, “Regarding the payment of honorarium to anganwadi workers and helpers, the Department has informed that the payment to anganwadi workers has been made upto November, 2017, and that of anganwadi helpers upto December, 2017.”
The L-G further stated that the department concerned has informed him that payments for the remaining months are pending as the funds provided in the Budget 2017-18 for this purpose have already been exhausted.
“Being both the Finance Minister in-charge of Budget preparation and Minister heading the WCD Department, Hon’ble Dy. CM would like to introspect why the Budget could not be planned in a more meticulous manner and provision for the additional requirement not made timely,” Baijal added.