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SRINAGAR: Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat has called for further strengthening and streamlining the functioning of Family Welfare Department, enabling it to ensure implementation of various flagship and welfare programmes of Central and State Governments, especially related to the national immunization programme more efficiently and systematically.

While reviewing the functioning of the Department at a high-level meeting held here today, the Minister said that family welfare is the top most priority area of the Government and all necessary steps will be taken to make its functioning more vibrant and result oriented. This important wing of the Health Ministry is mandated to undertake the important activities relating to the welfare of families and children across the State, with special focus on rural and far-flung areas and every functionary will be made accountable to achieve the targets.

Principal Secretary Health & Medical Education, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Secretary Technical (H&ME) and Director General AYUSH, Dr. Abdul Kabir Dar, Mission Director National Health Mission, Dr. Mohan Singh, Director Health Services, Jammu, Dr. Gurjeet Singh Soodan, Director Finance, H&ME, Mohammad Rafique, Additional Secretary Health, K.S. Chib and Jt. Director Planning, Madan Lal Bhagat were present in the meeting.

Several issues relating to the functioning of the Department viz-a-viz position of funds, strength of manpower, promotion of non-gazetted staff, rules, evaluation and monitoring of national immunization programme (Pulse Polio), regular disbursement of salaries to the employees, especially who are working under head 2211 and performance of immunization programme.

Director Family Welfare, Dr.  Sameer Mattoo gave detailed account of activities of the Department and highlighted some important administrative issues pertaining to the shortage of manpower, promotion of various categories of employees who are on deputation from health department, permanent solution to salary funds under 2211 head to ensure regular and timely disbursement of salaries to the employees. He informed that the Department has been facing problems on account of shortage of manpower as most of the staff is on deputation from the health department to carry out important activities like Pulse Polio programme and other awareness programmes across the State.

In order to address these issues once for all, the Minister constituted a committee comprising senior officers of Secretariat, Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir, Jammu and Directorate of Family Welfare,  which will suggest ways and means to streamlining the overall functioning of the department viz-a-viz addressing all highlighted issues in a time bound manner.