Punjab health dept employees have two jobs – one in India, another abroad

Sukhbir Singh Bajwa

Chandigarh: Many Punjab Health Department employees are bending the rules and taking up additional positions overseas alongside their posts in India.

By taking extended ex-India leaves (leaves approved for official tour abroad), many employees have moved overseas where they have managed to get a green card or a foreign citizenship. However, they still continue with their job in India. Cases of collusion with officers to secure promotions have also emerged.

Ever since names of 180 employees have surfaced in this scam, Punjab Health Minister Brahm Mohindra banned ex-India leave extensions for the department’s employees.

Terming it as a ‘serious issue’, Mohindra said that if anyone comes to take leave, they will be sacked. He added that it will no longer be easy to take ex-India leaves and green card holders will not be tolerated.

Paying returns in Canada

Posted at the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare Training Centre in Mohali’s phase-6, sister tutor Daljeet Kaur has been promoted to the post of vice-principal. She was on ex-India leave in Canada between 2004-07, and was self-employed between 2009-14. During this time, she worked in Kotakpura but her returns in the year 2009 were filed in Canada. She got her daughter, Jasleen Kaur, admitted to the Shimla Medical University under the NRI quota and submitted a copy of her 2009 returns for the same. The director had also written to the principal of the State Institute on February 22, 2018, regarding this matter but no action has been taken so far.

Employees extend ex-India leave from abroad

Many employees working in various departments of Punjab go abroad on ex-India leaves and extend the duration of the leave while they are still there. According to the rules, an employee can extend their leave only after coming back to India and joining duty. This goes on to show that there is complete collusion between the employees and the officers.

CM’s approval necessary for leaves longer than 3 months

According to the rules, an employee who takes an ex-India leave cannot take any other holiday during this time except in unavoidable circumstances. If an employee takes ex-India leave for 30 days, it is sanctioned by the competent authority of the concerned officer. If the leave is between one-three months, it is necessary to get approval from the minister of the concerned department. Further, if the leave extends to more than three months, an approval by the chief minister is required.

What are the rules?

Firstly, in order to extend their ex-India leave, an employee has to come back to India, join back work and then only the leave can be extended.

Secondly, it is necessary for all government employees to inform the officers about taking ex-India leave.

Thirdly, if a person is a green card holder abroad, they cannot do a government job in India. A person who files their returns in another country also cannot take up a government job in India.

Employees with green cards

Medical officers – 20

Staff nurses – 75

Junior assistant and clerical – 14

Medical lab technician – 5

Radiographer – 3

Multipurpose health supervisor – 19