Published On: Tue, Apr 7th, 2020

Haryana govt coercing its employees to donate to coronavirus fund: Congress

Chandigarh: Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Tuesday accused the M L Khattar-led BJP-JJP Haryana government of coercing state government employees into making donations to the State’s Coronavirus Relief fund.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala

Surjewala said Haryana has a long standing culture of sharing and helping out each other whenever such a need has arisen and state government employees have always made huge amounts of voluntary donations for various calamities in the past.

“But this time state government is pressurizing its employees to submit their voluntary approvals for the donations,” the chief spokesperson of the Congress alleged in a news conference addressed through video conferencing.

He said every Haryanvi stands united with the government in its fight against COVID-19.

“We are not against voluntary donations but the forceful manner in which it was being done by the Haryana government is what we are against. It cannot be a coincidence that the salaries of previous month of thousands of government employees have not been disbursed by the Khattar government so far,” he said.

He alleged that heads of various departments are putting pressure on their employees that they should contribute 10-20 per cent of their monthly salary towards Haryana Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Surjewala claimed that as per an order of District Education Officer, Panipat those employees who fail to submit their ”voluntary approvals to donate”, their salary for March month will be withheld.

“Similar reports of heads of the departments and senior officers pressurizing their staff members for ”donations” to Haryana Coronavirus Relief Fund can be verified and confirmed by checking official WhatsApp groups of different departments. In these groups, those employees who have not given ”voluntary approval” are repeatedly given reminders to put pressure on them,” he further claimed.

He said the Haryana government has till April 5 raised nearly Rs 64 crore from 1,64,718 employees of the state.

Surjewala said it would have been better if the Khattar government had started this initiative by donating three month salaries of the chief minister, ministers, MLAs, MPs, chairpersons and members of the Boards/Corporations/ Commissions for the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

“Along with this, the big industrialists, mining and liquor companies and other resourceful people of the state should have been encouraged and motivated to make contributions,” he said.

The Congress leader said the Khattar government should make public where it was spending the money received in donations and whether it was being used to purchase Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and other equipment needed by doctors, paramedics, health workers, policemen and Safai Karamcharis, who are at the forefront of battle against coronavirus.

He also asked the state government to scale up testing, saying it is crucial if spread of COVID-19 is to be checked.

“We have been requesting them that prevention and testing that is the key. Unless and until you prevent the spread of coronavirus by extensively testing and quarantine, we will be saddled with a pandemic for we are in the National Capital Region,” he said.

He said unfortunately, despite our repeated requests, 14,000 odd people who have returned from foreign countries have not been adequately quarantined, nor have they been tested.

“For a population of 2.5 crore, to conduct thousand odd tests in a period of last 15 days, is actually meaningless.

“Consequently, whoever is infected and is coming into contact with more people, either family members or friends, will lead to spread of coronavirus,” he said.

PTI

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