Tag Archives: employees

Ad-hoc employees occupy key posts at CAA



KARACHI: 

Many key positions in the Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) have been filled on an ad-hoc basis, while many of the deputed officers do not have the qualification and experience mandatory for their posts.

These violations of the CAA rules and regulations have undermined the administrative structure of the authority and created a chaotic situation.

Sources told Daily Express that the official serving for the last one year as the authority’s director general – air marshal (retd) Yousaf Chaudhry – has no experience of commercial aviation or of working at any passenger carrier.

According to the CCA rules, the head of the institution must have at least 20-year experience of an airline as well as the commercial pilot’s licence.  The CAA’s deputy director general, appointed on deputation, also does not have the commercial pilot’s licence.

The authority’s management has appointed mechanical engineer Sameer Saeed as the head of Human Resource while on the seniority list he is No 50.

The management has appointed a 65-year-old retired air commodore as head of the department of information technology while the head of the civil aviation school is also a 70-year-old retired air commodore.

The CAA has also deputed air commodore Nasir as director technical while the regulatory department responsible for evaluating the abilities and professional expertise of pilots has for the last three years been run by an air force pilot. This department also issues medical fitness certificate to commercial pilots and it is required to be headed by technical officers with requisite qualification, sources added.

The flight standards’ department is also headed by an acting director, who was appointed as flight inspector on a contractual basis. It must be noted that this section is responsible to issue licenses to new airlines. According to the CAA rules, the duration of an acting position is 90 days; however the officer has been serving for the last 8 months.

The general manager licencing, Captain Gulzar Ahmed, has also been working on an ad-hoc basis for the last 2 years. He is reportedly 63 years’ old.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2014.


In session: Failure to pay Christian employees before Easter irks minority MPA



PESHAWAR: Salaries of Christian government employees were not released by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government ahead of Easter even though an official notification had been issued earlier.

This issue was raised on a point of order in the K-P Assembly on Monday by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Frederic Azeem Ghauri.

Ghauri informed the house that on April 11 the finance department issued a notification stating salaries and pensions of Christian employees will be paid by April 17, however, Easter passed on Sunday and the salaries still remain unpaid.

The lawmaker asked the government to take notice of the matter. Adviser to the Chief Minister (CM) on Minority Affairs Sardar Sooran Singh assured Ghauri that the government will look into it, but Ghauri insisted he wanted assurances from CM Pervez Khattak.

However, the CM did not pay much heed to Ghauri’s repeated requests and continued to indulge in a conversation with another MPA. Other lawmakers in the house also did not seem to empathise with Ghauri.

Furthermore, Speaker Asad Qaiser did not allow Ghauri more time to speak on the issue and the Christian lawmaker was not even backed by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal’s lawmaker on reserved seats for non-Muslims, Askar Pervaiz, who happened to be sitting next to Ghauri.

The lawmaker told The Express Tribune that Christian employees continued to contact him throughout the Easter weekend, wanting to know about their promised salaries. He added he had spoken to the CM and the local government minister later and brought this issue to their notice.

During the question and hour session, the government found itself in an embarrassing position regarding the delay in issuing notifications about the portfolios assigned to five new ministers appointed on April 1.

JUI-F lawmaker from Lakki Marwat, Noor Saleem Malik, raised the issue on the floor.

Speaker Qaiser asked Minister for Industries Shaukat Ali Yousafzai to explain the government’s position even though senior minister Shahram Tarakai was present at the session.

When Yousafzai attempted to address the house, opposition lawmakers Noor Saleem and Munawar Khan asked him to first explain whether he was explaining the government’s position as the health minister or industries minister, to which Yousafzai replied he would answer as a former health minister.

Absent employees

Yousafzai acknowledged there were discrepancies in the number of senior doctors on the government’s payroll who are not practicing in the country. According a list presented in the house earlier, 24 government doctors from the province were abroad. However, following criticism from the opposition benches Yousafzai acknowledged the number was over 200.

The former health minister added the government had already sacked around 85 doctors for being absent from duty.

The opposition’s continuing criticism enraged CM Khattak who urged opposition lawmakers to cooperate with the government. He claimed that under Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s governance, corruption had reduced to less than 5% as compared to other provinces.

Khattak also defended his government’s policies and said they will arrange a briefing for opposition parties on this subject soon. However, opposition lawmakers took exception to Khattak’s outburst and continued to criticise him.

The session was in progress till the filing of this report.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2014.


Abducted UN employees recovered from Steel Town



KARACHI: The two employees of the United Nations International Children’s Fund (Unicef) were recovered from Steel Town on Monday during a joint raid conducted by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC).

The two men went missing from the city’s outskirts under mysterious circumstances. Farrukh and Sami had come to Karachi from Hyderabad to visit a family resort on Thursday and were reported missing the same day. In the hours that followed, the police officials refused to register the FIR over a jurisdiction dispute between the Gulshan-e-Maymar police in district West and the Sohrab Goth police in district East. The case eventually went to the CPLC.

The raid was conducted at the kidnappers hideout located on the outskirts of the city. The authorities managed to recover the kidnapped employees but failed to arrest the abductors as they managed to escape.

“There were two kidnappers present when we went in but both of them managed to flee,” said CPLC’s deputy chief Najeeb Danawala while talking to The Express Tribune. “Our priority at the time was to bring the men back home safely.”

An official from the AVCC believed it was a kidnapping for ransom case and militant groups might have been involved. Repeating what Farrukh and Sami had told him, the official said that the kidnappers had given the men a beating and asked how much their families could pay as ransom. Afterward, he added, the abductors kept the men in a small room and would only open the door at mealtimes.

Since it was a kidnapping case, the official claimed, the kidnappers would have made a ransom call in the next two to three days.

“In such cases, the kidnappers usually demand a ransom after a week has passed,” said the CPLC deputy chief. “Many people are being kidnapped from the city’s outskirts but the police are wasting time in registering the cases and fighting over jurisdiction.”

While talking about how the men were picked up, the deputy chief said that they were on their way to pick up one of the employee’s spouse from the intercity bus in Sohrab Goth when the kidnappers intercepted them at Gulshan-e-Maymar Industrial Area. The deputy chief also claimed to have seized the kidnappers’ white Toyota Corolla car.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2014.


Job security: Provincial health project employees reinstated by high court



PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday reinstated 23 employees of the provincial maternal newborn and child health project with provision of all facilities and pending salaries from the date of removal from services.

The counsels of petitioner Irfan Jamal and others, Abdul Latif Afridi, Ijaz Anwer and Muhammad Taif Khan informed a division bench of Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Muhammad Daud Khan that the petitioners were appointed as social mobilisers in 2009.

They said senior officials of the project suspended these employees from their posts without any prior notice or cause in 2011.

The only reason given was shortage of funds to pay monthly salaries.

The petitioners’ counsels said the employees were removed citing shortage of funds, while high-ranking officials are still employed with the project and will continue to receive perks and privileges till its completion in 2015.

They argued laying off some employees without prior notice and allowing senior officials to continue working is illegal and unconstitutional.

Justice Waqar remarked that no employee, whether regular or contractual, can be removed from service without a reason in light of a recent Supreme Court judgment.

He said it is astonishing that employees getting lucrative salaries continue to work while those at the lower level have no job.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court ordered to reinstate the employees with provision of all allowances and pending salaries from the day they were removed from service and directed that they will continue their services till the completion of the project.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2014.


Civil Hospital employees in Faisalabad take protest to new heights



FAISALABAD: Workers of Civil Hospital, Faisalabad climbed on top of a water tank, threatening to commit suicide if their salaries were not paid, Express News reported on Thursday.

Around 100 demonstrators gathered near the water tank, chanting slogans and holding up placards against the administration of the hospital. Protesters said they have not been paid for the past four months.

In a desperate attempt to have their demands heard, a dozen protesters climbed to the top of the water tank.

Speaking to Express News, demonstrators on the ground stated that the workers on top of the tower would not come down until they were given assurances that their demands would be met.

 


Ghost employees: Fake daily wagers in schools, colleges detected



ISLAMABAD: 

Just like ghost schools elsewhere in the country, there are a number of ghost teachers in the capital. On the payrolls of various scholls and colleges, they like to draw their salaries on time, but they never show up for class.

Survey teams from the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) have found fake entries of daily wagers in dozens of schools and colleges. The issue came to light following the formation of committees to conduct visits of educational institutions to verify the names of daily wagers submitted to the FDE. According to officials privy to the survey, it turned out that the number of employees shared with CADD and FDE was exaggerated. “It was quite surprising that they misled us,” said one of the officials.

This is not the first time the case of the misleading figures has surfaced. Last year in March, over 200 teachers from model colleges and schools stormed the FDE to protest the inclusion of fake names for regularisation while ignoring those on merit.

One of the lists contains the names of two sons of a college principal who are supposed to be working as lecturer and lab in-charge in the same institution in basic pay scale 12. “One of the principal’s sons has a full-time job at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and has not taught a class in over two years,” said an official at FDE.

The CADD secretary issued orders for verification of employees after the Establishment Division directed the department to terminate the services of all daily wagers and contractual employees.

After the abolition of students’ funds, it became difficult for institutions to pay temporary teaching and non-teaching staff, especially those in evening shifts.

CADD has now decided to pay them salaries for three months. Verification of their names has begun, said FDE Director General (DG) Mahmood Akhtar Malik. We will retain their services till May 31, after which summer vacations are due to begin. After that a new fiscal year will start, so we’ll be able to handle the situation, he added.

FDE DG did not rule out wrongdoing on the part of officials but stated that half of over 2,000 employees on the lists might have left, which was why they were not to be found working at the institutions.

Another discrepancy discovered during the survey was that teachers as well as non-teaching staff were working at schools or colleges different from the ones they had been appointed for.

“This is another major problem because many teachers want transfers close to their homes which has resulted in a shortage of staff at a huge number of rural schools,” he added. “The fate of those found to have provided wrong figures will be decided by the CADD secretary.”

FDE Administration and Finance Director Ashraf Nadeem said they were working to remove fake entries. We cannot wholly blame principals for recommending fake names because some people might have approached officials at FDE or CADD to include them, he added.

CADD Education Adviser told The Express Tribune that they were working to resolve the issue of daily wagers and any comment would be premature.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2014.


PIA sacks 300 employees for having fake degrees



As many as 300 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees have been sacked for having fake degrees.

According to a statement released by PIA, out of the 6,000 degrees of their employees that have been verified by various universities and institutions, 350 degrees were found to be fake.

“In light of the latest development the services of 300 out of total 350 whose degrees have been found out to be fake have been terminated according to Corporation’s Rules and Regulations. The cases of the remaining 50 employees are subjudice and courts’ decision are awaited for further reaction,” the release read.

In compliance with the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan, PIA said its Human Resource Administration Department has been verifying the credentials of around 16,000 employees.

So far as many as 30,000 degrees have been dispatched to concerned educational institutions (Universities and Boards) for the verifications. The remaining 3,000 degrees will be dispatch for verification by the mid of April.


Budget 2014-15: No increase in pension, salary for govt employees, says Ishaq Dar



ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said government employees should not have high expectations from the upcoming fiscal budget 2014-15, Express News reported.

In a written statement submitted in the National Assembly, Dar said there will be no increase in the pension and salary of state employees.

He also informed the lawmakers that they will be provided with developments funds in the new budget.

The budget for year 2013-14 saw an increase of 10 percent in the pension of retired government employees. The minimum monthly pension amount was also increased from Rs3000 to Rs5000.

However, for the first time in years, the salaries of government employees saw no change.


Billions of rupees paid to ghost employees at OGDC



ISLAMABAD: An ‘organised gang’ in the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) has made payments worth billions of rupees to ‘ghost employees’ belonging to the company’s Workers Participation Fund Trust (WPFT), an ongoing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) probe into the matter has uncovered.

The gang, which comprises senior OGDC officials and office-bearers of the Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA), made the fraudulent payments between 2009 and 2012, sources told the Express Investigation Cell (EIC).  OGDC pays 5% of its annual income to WPFT. The trust is jointly managed by OGDC’s HR department and CBA office-bearers.

The OGDC management revealed the information to NAB investigators itself, they said.

NAB investigators had summoned OGDC Executive Director Human Resource (HR) Mirza Basharat to brief them on the procedure and by-laws which govern WPFT, and company rules for hiring new employees. Basharat confirmed the meeting took place in Islamabad two weeks ago while talking to EIC.

The gang responsible for ‘ghost payments’ had full blessing from a minister in former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani’s cabinet and as such remained untouchable for some time. Last month, however, NAB started probing the matter after receiving information about the misuse of WPFT from sources within OGDC. The bureau sought relevant records from OGDC to identify those responsible for misuse and received a four-hour-long briefing from the company officials.

NAB is also investigating the illegal hiring of 4,500 employees by OGDC under the Pakistan Peoples Party government.

“Before the PPP came into power, OGDC’s strength amounted to 9,800 workers,” an official from the OGDC HR department told EIC. This number exceeded 10,000 between 2009 and 2010, he said. Thousands more, he added, were appointed between 2010 and 2012.

“All these appointments were illegal because they were made during a ban, and were made on a purely political basis,” the official said.

According to him, the appointments were made by converting over 4,000 daily wagers into contractual employees. This move, he said, added Rs200 million to OGDC’s monthly salary bill.

“Moneymakers fixed rates ranging from Rs0.5 million to over Rs1 million for different jobs in OGDC… this was an open secret in those days,” an official privy to NAB investigations said.

The role of OGDC’s HR department was even more objectionable since its officials facilitated illegal appointments after office working hours.

NAB is also looking into the illegal renting of a bulletproof land cruiser by OGDC. The vehicle was rented at a monthly cost of Rs1.215 million for the company’s boss from Pinnacle International, an Islamabad- based car rental, without following Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules.

When contacted OGDC managing director Riaz Khan said his organisation is cooperating with NAB for proper investigations into the cases in question. “We are here to establish the rule of law and hence will make sure that NAB gets full cooperation from our management,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2014.

 


Pay up: SHC wants issue of KMC employees’ salaries resolved in two weeks



KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has directed the secretaries of the local government and finance departments as well as the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) administrator to convene a meeting of all district municipal corporations to resolve the issues relating to disbursement of funds so that salaries could be paid to the employees and pensioners.

Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, who headed the bench, further ordered that the meeting must be held within 15 days and that the court should be informed about its outcome. The KMC workers union – Sajjan – had taken the Sindh finance department and KMC authorities to court last year.

According to the union’s lawyer, Nadeem Sheikh, thousands of employees, including the staff of the fire brigade department, as well as pensioners, have not been paid salaries for the last two to three months. This includes the hundreds of sanitary workers that are responsible for keeping the city clean.

During the course of the hearings, the court had been issuing directions to the provincial government’s finance secretary to resolve the problem by providing Rs500 million as aid to KMC by the tenth of every month but the issue is yet to be resolved.

Adjourning the hearing, the bench ordered the officials to inform the court about the meeting’s outcome by the next date of hearing.