By Imna Longchar
Dimapur (Nagaland), Nov 1: Amused at the allegation of government “sources” blaming the Rising People’s Party (RPP) for their own lack of responsibility (s) concerning the shortage (s) of staff in the department of Health & Family Welfare, the latter on Monday has shamed the department concerned that the department itself is “incompetent”.
Terming that the news item which was carried in a local daily on Monday issue as “misleading” from the “sources”, RPP president, Joel Naga, when contacted informed this correspondent that when the government of India on the evening of March 24, 2020, ordered a nationwide lockdown for a period for 21 days, the government of Nagaland on April 22, 2020, had issued an Office Memorandum (OM) banning fresh appointments including vacancies arising against sanctioned post (s) against sanctioned post (s) in all government departments until further orders.
The OM states that “This will not apply to medical staff (Doctors, Nurses, Technicians, and Para-medics) of Health & Family Welfare Department who have been given a special dispensation vide this Department’s notification of even number dated 1st April, 2020.”
He also pointed out that in regulation to the April 22, 2020, Office Memorandum (MO), the Health & Family Welfare department could not appoint more candidates (appointments) which had led to the shortage (s) of manpower in the concerned department, and questioned what stopped the department from appointing or recruiting manpower when the department itself has the authority.
“It’s already one and half years gone by since the 1/4/2020 OM was issued. So, if there’s still shortage of staff in the department, who or what stopped the H&FWD from conducting its own recruitment process? In the light of the above facts, the allegation of the ‘sources’ is not only unfounded but cheap”, Joel said.
He also maintained that instead, the “source” should be asking as to who is responsible for delaying the formation of NSSB and thereby causing shortage of staff in all departments.
While the “source” wanted to “scapegoat” the RPP, it’s clearly the Chief Minister who is responsible for the delay in operationalizing the NSSB till date and that this is even after the NSSB Regulation 2020 was passed, which was “irrefutable”, stated the RPP president.
Further, Joel mentioned that the Health and Family Welfare department should instead concentrate on regaining its “lost credibility” as the department admitting to acute shortage of funds seems to be nothing short of admission of misappropriation of funds by the department itself.
“If there is no misappropriation then the department should furnish itemized expenditure lists with regard to its own admission that a whopping Rs.245.44 Cr has already been spent so far for Covid-19related activities for the year 2020-22 along with 25% of LAPD funds for emergency,” he said while also adding that the Chief Minister and the Health Minister both must furnish answers as to where and how this huge amount of funds have been utilized.
It may be mentioned that Nagaland government had suspended an OM issued on July 16 allowing partial lifting of ban on appointments against existing vacancies following an order issued by the the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Sep 1.
This was in response to the High Court which had ordered suspension of “Office Memorandum” on empowering 76 departments to conduct recruitment exams.
The court order followed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Rising People’ Party (RPP)where in the PIL, the RPP had sought that the proposed Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) be made functional within one month so that “recruitments” to all Group-C posts could be conducted in a transparent manner.
Thereon, the court listed the matter for urgent hearing after four weeks and ordered that the “OM ”remains suspended till the returnable date.”
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