“Move to re-engage retired employees was inevitable, given rising expenditure amidst declining revenue”
It would not be perhaps wrong to say that the health system in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been missing accountability and transparency, especially post Covid-19 pandemic.
In the latest instance, a retired employee of Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) has reportedly retained his old position, despite the fact that he was reengaged for Covid-19 duties.
Talking to The Typewriter, sources in the Health Department, wishing anonymity revealed that the retired employee, who was supposed to work for containment of increasing Covid cases, preferred to sit on the prime post, which he held before his retirement.
“Disguising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s advice to nation apda mein avsar (opportunity in crisis), a retired employee of Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) has occupied his previous post in the Corporation,” said sources, adding that he did not even face any opposition from Health Department, owing to his strong influence.
Sources informed that the retired employee, who happened to be a pharmacist, like many others, was reemployed for COVID duties to overcome the shortage of manpower to fight the pandemic.
“His services were kept at the disposal of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Jammu and he was supposed to join at Government Hospital Gandhi Nagar for further duties”, they said, adding that but he managed to retain his previous post.
Giving details about the employee, sources informed that Pharmacist Inderjeet Sharma retired from the government services in January last year.
“Interestingly, instead of serving the society in the time of pandemic as front warrior, what the Prime Minister had advised ‘apda mein avsar’ he preferred to sit in store, where he had served since the establishment of the corporation till his retirement”, sources alleged.
The order for the re-engagement of Mr. Sharma reads, “In the interest of administration and for smooth functioning of the work of the Sample Warehouse, Amphalla, Inderjeet Sharma, retired Pharmacist who has been engaged on contractual basis for one year vide Director Health Services Jammu order No; DHSJ/Cont/Es 2/20655-57 dated 31-3-2020 in pursuant to Govt. Order No: 347-(JK) HME of 2020 dated 28-03-2020 and his services placed before JKMSCL vide DHS Jammu letter No: DHSJ/COVID-19/2540-46, dated 19-5-2020 is directed to report to Medical officer Sample Store Amphalla for further duties”.
Officer said when the government should have encouraged new doctors and pharmacists to lead the battle against pandemic, the Lieutenant Governor’s administration kept itself busy in re-engaging retired employees.
“The engagement of retired employees in case of any pandemic and otherwise, instead of employing new recruits is absolutely foolish and this needs strong review of the policy,” said the officer. However, another official of the Corporation insisted that the move to re-engage retired employees was inevitable, given rising expenditure amidst declining revenue.
“There is no doubt that new employees are more energetic and determined to work, but when it comes to deal with sensitive issues, like Covid 19, the experience of the senior employees is required,” said the officer, adding that the reengagement of retired employees is temporary and it does not put much burden on the expenditure.
If sources are to be believed, the above said person is close relative of a higher official of the Health Department due to which he has been given special privilege to work in the department as per his whims and fancies.
When contacted General Manager, JKMSCL, Sabha Noor claimed that he has been engaged for covid 19 duties and he has rendered his services during pandemic.
She also said that he has been shifted to Nagrota Drug Warehouse where his experience is being utilised for Covid 19 related tenders and others things.