Give affidavit against corrupt officers, says health minister

Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani, who was in the city to chair a meeting of drug inspectors and other officials, on Friday said that public must give them affidavits in case they want to protest against any corrupt officer of the department.

He said this in the context of a protest by an organisation against district health officer Avinash Chander.

"Give me an affidavit of your complaint and I will order an inquiry on the same day. In case anyone wants to keep the name secret, that will also be taken care of," Jayani said.

The health minister himself faced a protest from ASHA workers who were led by union leader Tarsem Jodhan. The workers demanded regularisation of jobs.

However, the minister said that already most of their demands had been met by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. He assured early implementation of these demands.

Later, while chairing the meeting, the minister pulled up his health staff and asked them to take regular food samples of eatables from shops, rehris and restaurants so as to check the quality of food products. "Every day should be considered as Diwali and Holi and the employees should not just get active only near the festival season," he said.

He also asked the employees to get ready for the Food Safety Act, 2014, which would be implemented from February 4, 2014. Under this Act, the vendors dealing with food-related items need to get themselves registered with the food safety department so that their quality could be checked.

He told the health authorities to do random checking of medical shops and asked them to check the mushrooming of shops near villages which are otherwise into selling habit-forming drugs.

Later, when asked how he had changed the department after he took charge, Jayani said, "We got drug licence of five reputed companies of Ludhiana cancelled as they were into sale of habit-forming drugs. This is a message to those who are into this business."

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