Row in Duduwa Rural Municipality deprives staff of pay of 4 months

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By Siraj Khan,Nepalgunj, Dec. 6: The employees including health workers of Duduwa Rural Municipality in Banke district have not received their salaries and allowances since the beginning of the current financial year thanks to the disputes between the political parties in the local level.

After the local level elections in May this year, no village assembly could convene, due to which the budget has not been passed and none of the employees of the rural municipality have received their salary and allowances. 

The rural municipality has also not carried out any developmental work this fiscal year. Due to the dispute among the political parties, village assembly has not been held. 

The employees have been protesting after failing to get their pay and perks for months. 

All the employees working under the health branch of the rural municipality have demanded that they should immediately be provided with their salary and allowances. They have drawn the attention of the people's representatives of the rural municipality about their problems and announced protest programmes.

Dhan Bahadur Budha, chief at the health branch of the rural municipality, submitted a memorandum, including the protest programme, to Krishna Prasad Paudel, chief administrative officer of the rural municipality, demanding salary and allowance.

“If arrangements are not made to pay the salary and allowance immediately, all OPD services other than emergency services will be closed from December 8 to 9, all health institutions will be completely closed except for emergency services from December 10 and a sit-in  will be staged at the rural municipality office,” read the memorandum submitted  by Budha.

The memorandum has been signed by 84 health workers of the village. While reading out the memorandum, Chief Administrative Officer Poudel admitted that the facilities to employees were halted due to the inability of the local representatives to hold the village assembly. 

All the employees have the right to get the facilities for their work, said Poudel, adding that the people's representatives should work seriously on the matter.

He said that for the same reason, most of the health posts do not have medicine including cetamol and the labs, health services and animal services were affected.

Hemant Sharma, an employee, complained that since the employees have not been paid for a long time, they are unable to pay their daily expenses, house rent, school fees of their children and the house debt.

A few days ago, teachers working in the rural municipality also drew attention by demanding salaries and allowances. The Nepal Teachers' Federation Banke said that there was a big problem because regular budgets such as salary allowances, scholarships and mid-day meals for teachers and school employees have not been released since the beginning of the current fiscal year. 

When asked, Narendra Kumar Chaudhary, chairman of the rural municipality, said that the village council meeting could not be held due to opposition parties and due to which the budget was not approved.

He said that the problems are piling up now as the opposition is holding the rural municipality hostage.

However, the opposition parties said that the chairman did not cooperate with them and tried to work alone without listening to the opposition.

In that municipality, representatives of the Nepali Congress,UML and Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal have been elected, and the representatives from the latter two parties have united against chairman  Chaudhary and deputy chair Shaida Bano, both elected from the NC.

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