AAP comes out in support of Punjab govt. doctors

State’s move to reduce Non-Practising Allowance of doctors during pandemic is a ‘cruel joke’, says party

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has opposed the Punjab government’s move to reduce the Non-Practising Allowance (NPA) of government medical doctors and veterinary doctors, terming it “a cruel joke”.

The AAP’s medical wing State co-president, Dr. Sanjeev Sharma, said that the decision of the Congress government to reduce the NPA of doctors who risked their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, from 25% to 20%, was a blow to doctors.

He said that the government should have given a COVID-19 allowance for doctors, instead of reducing the salaries already paid.

“The Punjab government has abolished most of the allowances [recommended] in the report of the Sixth Pay Commission under a big conspiracy. The government is implementing decisions that are sure to cause great harm to the general public and to employees,” Dr. Sharma said.

Dr. Sharma alleged that the government was hiring medical staff on a contractual basis to avoid paying such allowances. “The government should restore NPA of doctors as 25% of basic pay, and declare posts of rural veterinary pharmacists as permanent,” he said.

During the past few days, doctors in Punjab’s government hospitals have twice observed a day-long strike against certain recommendations in the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission by the State.

The strike was observed on a call given by the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association, to which support has been extended by the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association, the Punjab Dental Doctors Association, the Homeopathic Doctors Association, the Ayurvedic Doctors Association, the Rural Medical Officers Association, and the Punjab Medical and Dental Teachers Association.

Doctors are protesting against the State’s Sixth Pay Commission recommendations surrounding the delinking of the Non-Practising Allowance (NPA) from their basic pay. Also, they are opposing reduction in the NPA from 25% to 20%.

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