In an exceptional move, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSR Congress Party president Jaganmohan Reddy on Monday announced salary hike for Asha workers in the medical and health department by over 300 per cent. The salary has been revised from the existing Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000. The development comes within just two days of Reddy's swearing-in as the second Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh after bifurcation. It was one of Reddy's poll promises which he made ahead of Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections.
"Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has increased the salaries of Asha workers in medical & health department from existing Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000," the news agency ANI reported.
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has increased the salaries of Asha workers in medical & health department from existing Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/Mg4l61Aldj— ANI (@ANI) June 3, 2019
It has been a quite long time that the Asha workers have been demanding higher wages and better working conditions in the state. In the last few years, the agitated workers staged several protests across Andhra Pradesh, but the previous TDP government seemed to be least bothered when it came to revision of wages for them.
While Asha workers in Kerala and Telangana were being paid Rs 7,500 and Rs 6,000 respectively, the government of Andhra Pradesh was not responding to the pleas of the workers for revision of their wages.
Seeking to cool frayed tempers, the Central government had, in September last year, announced the doubling of routine incentives to the Asha workers. As many as 10,63,670 ASHAs and ASHA Facilitators were also covered under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.
The government had then also increased the routine and recurring incentives from Rs 1000 per month to Rs 2000 per month to benefit 10,22,265 ASHAs. In October 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved an increase in supervisory visit charges for ASHA Facilitators from Rs 250 per visit to Rs 300 per visit for 2018-2019 to 2019- 2020. The hike benefitted over 40,000 workers.
Reddy, who led his YSR Congress Party to a thumping victory in the recently concluded Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, was sworn in on Thursday as the chief minister of the state. The 46-year-old took the oath in Telugu at 12.23 pm amid thunderous cheers by scores of party leaders and workers in a brief ceremony at the IGMC Stadium in Vijayawada.
The YSRCP emerged victorious in 151 of the 175 Assembly seats in the state. It also won 22 of the 25 parliamentary constituencies in the this Lok Sabha elections, which took place along with Assembly polls in the state.
Reddy's party decimated the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), headed by N Chandrababu Naidu, who became the first chief minister of the state after it was bifurcated to carve out Telangana five years ago.