In a move that will impact over 65,000 staff including officials and doctors, the State Health Department will now release salaries of employees based on their attendance recorded thrice on the Aadhar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS).
A circular to this effect has been issued on Thursday and all Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) have been directed to release the salaries only on the basis of the employee’s attendance recorded on AEBAS.
This follows a direction by Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, who reviewed the department’s functioning on Wednesday. “This move is to increase accountability and bring about a qualitative change in the department,” the Minister said.
Timetable for attendance
For those working in shifts at hospitals
Speaking to reporters, the Minister said that he had received several complaints from elected representatives and members of the public that doctors and other staff were not available at hospitals and offices during working hours. “The indiscipline of government officials will impact delivery of public healthcare services. So, I have given instructions to cut the salary of those who were not present during working hours. AEBAS equipment will be installed in all hospitals and the 3,230 offices under the Health Department,” he said.
“Biometric attendance had been stopped due to COVID-19, but it has again been made mandatory from the past two months. This has been conveyed through several meetings and circulars. However, some staffers and officers still have not been registering biometric attendance. Now, a proper warning and an order has been issued. If anyone fails to register biometric attendance, they will be marked absent and will receive a pay cut,” he said.
Responsibility of DDO
The Minister said it is the responsibility of all DDOs to check all AEBAS records under their jurisdiction and submit a report on providing salaries to the concerned District Health Officer. They will examine the report and provide directions about releasing or withholding salaries. Higher officials will examine the attendance of DHOs, he said.
“If anyone is found to have less than 80% attendance, their payment will be withheld and further action will be taken. In case they have an attendance of 80%, the salary will be released and they will be questioned about the reason for the 20% absence and a notice will be served. If the reason for absence is genuine, the matter will be closed. In case, the information is false, a portion of the pay will be reduced from the next month’s salary,” the Minister explained.
If salaries are given without verifying the attendance, the DDOs will be held responsible and action will be taken against them. If the supervision is improper, action will also be taken against the DHO, he said.
“In the weekly review of the Health Department, a review about the attendance and salaries will also be taken. If there is any lacuna in the implementation of the new rule, strict action will be taken. The doctors, officials and staff have been instructed to register their attendance thrice a day. Separate times have been set for hospitals and offices,” he said.