Tribune News Service
Chamkaur Sahib, December 30
Doling out goodies to poorest of the poor on election eve, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi here on Thursday announced a substantial increase in wages of Asha workers and mid-day meal workers.
There are 22,000 Asha workers and 42,205 mid-day meal workers in the state.
With this the long-pending demand of both has been met.
Announcing the much-awaited relief at a mammoth gathering, including the beneficiaries, Channi said the Aaha workers would get a monthly allowance of Rs 2,500 now onwards. It would be besides the commission they had been receiving, he said.
They would also be entitled to a cashless health insurance of Rs 5 lakh, he added.
The chief minister said 42,205 mid-day meal workers employed at 19,300 government schools in the state had been receiving a meagre Rs 2,200 per month. This had been increased to Rs 3,000 per month, he said.
He also announced that both would get these benefits for the whole year. Till now they were paid for 10 months a year. They would also be entitled to maternity leave on par with other regular government employees, declared the chief minister.
Taking a dig at AAP which has promised Rs 1,000 monthly pension for women in Punjab in case they form the government, Channi said it was a farce as women needed empowerment and the Congress was working in this direction and 33 per cent government jobs and 50 per cent seats in civic bodies, block samitis and sarpanches had been reserved for them.
Channi appealed to people to give him a chance to form the next government.
"AAP leaders have been enticing the electorate by saying that after trying the SAD and Congress the people of state must give a chance to them to form government in Punjab. I appeal to you that you have tried the Badals as well as Captain, now give us a chance,” he said.
Others who were present on the occasion included Deputy Chief Minister OP Soni, Revenue Minister Aruna Chaudhary, Agriculture Minister Randeep Singh Nabha and MLAs Balbir Singh Sidhu and Amrik Singh.
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