January 10, 2017Print : Karachi
Sindh’s chief minister has ordered immediate release of funds from the provincial kitty for paying lady health workers’ (LHW) salaries of the past four months.
CM Murad Ali Shah issued the directive to the finance department amid a sit-in by LHWs on Monday, as they assembled around the PIDC traffic intersection on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, disrupting the traffic flow on the thoroughfare.
After Shah’s intervention, however, the protesters were persuaded to clear the main artery in the downtown area of the city.
The chief executive was informed of the LHWs’ protest during a high-profile meeting at the Sindh Secretariat, where he was discussing ways to eradicate polio from the province.
He encountered the protesters on his way back to the CM House. He stopped and talked to the LHWs at the traffic intersection, urging them to end their protest so traffic movement could resume.
Earlier, during the meeting, the CM had directed the health minister and health secretary to activate the LHWs and utilise their services for eradication of polio from the entire province.
Shah was informed that the health workers were protesting again because they had not been paid their salaries for the last four months.
On this the chief executive directed the finance department to immediately release the funds to pay the LHWs their salaries.
On his way back from the Sindh Secretariat, he got out of his car to tell the protesters that he had ordered releasing their salaries.
When the LHWs expressed dissatisfaction and suggested discussing their issues with him, he invited nine of their representatives to the CM House for a meeting.
Shah set the prerequisite of ending the protest before negotiations could commence with representatives of the LHWs.
The meeting was attended by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, CM’s Principal Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch, Health Secretary Fazal Pechuho and Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi.
CM Shah assured the LHWs that he had already released their salaries and that their remaining issues – like repairs of their vehicles, provision of petrol and payment of their future salaries on time – would be also be resolved.
He directed the health secretary to hold a meeting with the delegation of the LHWs and solve their problems within the next three days.