bangalore: Karnataka State Department of Health will now release employee salaries based on their attendance recorded three times on the Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS). There are 3,230 hospitals and offices under the Health Department with over 65,000 employees.
A circular to this effect was issued yesterday and all Drawdown and Disbursement Officers (DDOs) were instructed to release wages solely on the basis of employee attendance recorded on AEBAS. This follows a directive from the Minister of Health and Medical Education Dr K. Sudhakar, who reviewed the functioning of the Department. “This decision is intended to increase accountability and bring about qualitative change in the Ministry,” the Minister said.
Dr Sudhakar said he had received several complaints from elected officials and members of the public that doctors and other staff were unavailable in hospitals and offices during working hours.
“The indiscipline of government officials will impact the delivery of public health services. So, I gave instructions to cut the salaries of those who were not present during working hours. All hospitals and others offices under the Department of Health will be set up with AEBAS which will record attendance based on Aadhaar card of doctors, officers and staff,” he added.
He said biometric attendance had been stopped due to the pandemic but had been made compulsory again two months ago. “It was conveyed through several meetings and circulars. However, some staff and officers still have not recorded biometric attendance. Now an appropriate warning and order has been issued. If someone fails to register their biometric attendance, they will be marked as absent and will receive a pay cut,” he said.
The Minister said that it is the responsibility of all DDOs to check all AEBAS records under their jurisdiction and submit a report on the provision of salaries to the relevant District Health Officer. They will review the report and provide direction on releasing or withholding wages. Senior officials will review the presence of DHOs, he said.
“If someone is found to have less than 80% attendance, their payment will be withheld and further action will be taken. In the event that they have an 80% attendance, the pay will be released and they will be questioned on the reason for the absence of 20% and a notice will be served. If the reason for the absence is real, the file will be closed. In the event that the information is false, a portion of the salary will be deducted from the salary of the following month”, explained the minister.
If salaries are given without attendance verification, DDOs will be held accountable and action will be taken against them. If supervision is inadequate, action will also be taken against the DHO, he said.
“During the Health Department‘s weekly review, a review of attendance and salaries will also be taken. If there is a gap in the implementation of the new rule, strict action will be taken. Doctors, officials and staff have been instructed to register their attendance three times a day. Separate hours have been set for hospitals and offices,” he said.