HP govt scraps NPA for medical professionals

Shimla: Faced with a crisis on the fiscal front that has literally brought the government to its knees to pay monthly salary bills, Himachal Pradesh’s congress government scrapped the Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) given to government doctors and medical professionals in the state.

The Himachal Pradesh government has been granting NPA to doctors in lieu of a ban on their private practice by them.

However, over the years, the burden of the NPA has increased manifold because of the massive expansion of health services and new medical colleges.

Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu has taken a decision to denotify the NPA for all newly recruited medical, dental, Ayush, and veterinary doctors.

“The move is part of the government’s efforts to streamline the allocation of allowances and ensure optimal resource utilisation,” said a senior official here this evening.

According to a notification issued by the Principal Secretary (Finance) Maneesh Garg, the decision represents a partial modification of the department’s earlier notifications dated January 3, 2022, and March 2, 2022.

“The Governor of Himachal Pradesh has ordered that the NPA will no longer be admissible for all doctors recruited from this point onwards” the officials informed.

The impact of this notification will directly affect the salaries of doctors working in the Health & Family Welfare, Medical Education, Dental, Ayush, and Animal Husbandry

departments of the State government.

Reports said the doctors receive an additional 20 per cent salary as NPA in addition to their regular postings. As a result of this change, their salaries will be reduced by 20 per cent.

In addition to the denotification of NPA, the government has also announced the resumption of the old pension scheme, providing options for employees and pensioners to choose between the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) or continue with the New Pension System.

The state government has been repeatedly asking the centre to release the Rs 8,000 crore deposited by the state government and employees with central agencies.

Meanwhile, the decision has provoked a strong reaction as the Himachal Pradesh Medical Officers Association on Thursday held a meeting and passed a resolution asking the government to review the decision on the NPA for future appointments of the doctors in the state.

The association’s members, including senior officials and representatives from various units, voiced their concerns regarding the recent notification issued by the finance department.

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