Conrad Sangma government in Meghalaya has released Rs 53 crore during the financial year 2021-22 fiscal for payment to ASHA workers under various schemes, which is the highest amount released in any year under Meghalaya ASHA Benefit Scheme (MABS) and Meghalaya Maternity Benefit Scheme (MMBS) since the inception of National Health Mission (NHM).
NHM Meghalaya director Ram Kumar said the government has duly released sanctions under MABS for clearing backlog incentives up to March 2021.
"The sanction letter has been given to deputy commissioners of all districts on March 29, 2022 on the funds release with copies to district medical and health officers for their information and necessary action," he said. Kumar further said that the state government with the support of NHM introduced the ASHA and ASHA Facilitator Payment App to ease the payment process of ASHA incentives and ensure timely disbursement of the same.
He said the application will also be an important support tool for programme officers at all levels as it will enable regular monitoring and tracking of ASHA payments and ensure no time lag in payments.
The NHM director said the application has been rolled out in Umling Block of Ri-Bhoi district on a pilot basis.
NHM Meghalaya director Ram Kumar said the government has duly released sanctions under MABS for clearing backlog incentives up to March 2021As many as 471 ASHAs from Ri Bhoi district have enrolled in the application while the total claims raised are Rs. 29.90 lakh.
He said an amount raised has been released for payment to the ASHAs through this application within five days from the time of claims.
"This process has cut down the time from 120-150 days to less than five days, he said.
Kumar said MABS and MMBS, which are initiatives of the Meghalaya government, were introduced in 2011-12.
The objective of MABS is to improve service delivery to the community.
He said as funds were not regularly released till the financial year 2018-2019, the NHM, Meghalaya could not make regular payments to the ASHAs.