The protesting lady health workers (LHWs) have reason to rejoice; authorities have been directed to release their salaries immediately.
Following a special directive from the prime minister – issued while he is still in Seoul attending a nuclear security summit – a special committee chaired by Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah held an emergency meeting to resolve the issue.
According to details released by the PM’s spokesperson, the committee directed the Planning Division Secretary to release the salaries for all LHWs immediately. The committee also deliberated on other issues related to LHWs, including non-provision of medicines and medical kits.
The committee members held that after the 18th Amendment, the lady health workers programme is the responsibility of the provincial governments. They agreed though that the federal government will continue to assist the provinces in the matter till the next National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.
“We will extend all-out support as the programme was launched by Benazir Bhutto and we will carry on her legacy” said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Shehnaz Wazir Ali.
Meanwhile, another special committee was constituted during the meeting, under the chairpersonship of Shehnaz, to address all outstanding issues pertaining to LHWs.
The committee will finalise its recommendations within two weeks and submit them to the prime minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2012.