Shillong: Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister James Sangma on Monday informed the assembly that the government has developed the ASHA facilitator payment mobile application to ease the payment process of ASHA incentives and to ensure timely disbursement of the same.
“The application will also be an important support tool for programme officers at all level as it will enable regular monitoring and tracking of ASHA payment and ensure minimum time lag in payments,” he said adding the application has been rolled out in Umling Block of Ri-Bhoi District on a pilot basis and it is expected to be implemented in the entire State by April 2022.
“Seventy-four ASHA workers of Umling block have successfully raised their claims and payments have been made to their accounts within 48 hours of their claims. This is one of its kind of application which has been successfully integrated with PFMS as well,” Sangma said in his course of his reply to a call attention moved by a suspended Congress legislator Mayral Born Syiem.
He said the program is designed to be performance based so that there is a genuine motivation to increase service delivery and the claims mechanism shall be eased and the payments will be done at the shortest possible time.
Informing that the government has released an amount of Rs 59 crore to over 7,000 ASHA workers during 2021-2022, the Minister said, “(This) amounts to about Rs 7,000 per ASHA worker per month on an average. Even this is about Rs 233 per day and not Rs 66 per day and urged the members of this house and ASHA workers to not believe that it is only Rs 66 per ASHA worker a day.
Moreover, he informed that the government has released a total of Rs 151 crore in the last four years for ASHAs for various incentive purposes including the pending backlogs of erstwhile Meghalaya ASHA benefit scheme (MABS) and Meghalaya Maternity Benefit Scheme (MMBS).
“Of the Rs 151 crores that have been released, about 79.49 crore has come from State resources only, which is three times higher in comparison to the total release of Rs 48.87 crores during 2013-18,” Sangma said.