Mrunal Manmay Dash

With the State heading towards the 2024 General Elections, Odisha government on Thursday announced an increase in the monthly remuneration and retirement benefits of ASHA workers in the state.

According to a CMO press release, the monthly remuneration of ASHA workers has been increased from Rs 4,500 to Rs 7,000. They will now get Rs 1 lakh as their retirement benefits as against Rs 50,000 earlier.

Earlier, the state government used to spend Rs 59.43 crore annually on their remuneration. But with the hiked monthly remuneration, now the government will have to spend Rs 208 crore annually. Similarly, Rs 55 lakh will be borne by the state government for their retirement assistance.

This will benefit 49,522 ASHA workers in the state. For this, the state government will spend an additional Rs 148.57 crore a year.

Asha workers’ job is to help pregnant and lactating women in the state. They also help create awareness about various government schemes meant for pregnant and lactating women. In addition, ASHA workers have also been carrying a major responsibility in the field of vaccination and institutional delivery.

Earlier last Thursday, the Odisha government had announced a hike in the monthly remuneration of workers of Anganwadi and Mini Anganwadi centres in the state.

The government hiked the monthly remuneration of Anganwadi workers from Rs 7,500 to Rs 10,000 and that of Mini Anganwadi workers from Rs 5,375 to Rs 7250. Moreover, Anganwadi assistants will now receive a monthly remuneration of Rs 5000 instead of Rs 3750.

The hike was made effective retrospectively from October 1, 2023. The government will bear a financial burden of Rs 350 crore annually on account of this hike.