Tag Archives: employees

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.


Belated move: PSM employees to get Dec and Jan salaries



ISLAMABAD: 

Amid deepening uncertainty over the status of board of directors of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) that is delaying a decision on restructuring before privatisation, the federal government has approved payment of two-month salaries to the employees of the state-owned industrial giant.

The decision to pay salaries for December and January was taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar here on Friday.

The PSM’s two-month wage bill will cost the public exchequer Rs960 million, according to a handout issued by the Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry of Industries and Production had sought approval for salaries of four months in an effort to ease the woes of thousands of employees of the mill, which was virtually shut down and running at less than 3% of capacity, said officials of the Ministry of Industries.

However, the Ministry of Finance refused to bear the four-month bill, which amounted to roughly Rs1.9 billion.

Issues pertaining to the delay in approval of a restructuring plan leading to PSM’s privatisation and constitution of the board of directors were also raised during the meeting.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had recently approved a four-member board, which fell short of the statutory requirement of five members, the officials said.

Lately, the Prime Minister’s Office clarified that the four members were in addition to the already constituted board, a justification that seemed to be irrational as the two new members were already performing on the old board, according to the officials.

The premier had nominated Industries Secretary Shafqat Naghmi and Privatisation Secretary Amjad Ali Khan along with two professionals from the private sector as members of the PSM board.

At present, there is no chairman of the board. New rules issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan make it binding that the chairman should be from the private sector and elected by the board.

The delay in constitution of a permanent board was also putting off approval for the restructuring plan, officials of the Ministry of Industries said.

Ishaq Dar directed the Privatization Commission (PC) to bring a proposal for restructuring of the PSM in the next ECC meeting, according to the handout.

However, PC Chairman Mohammad Zubair said the restructuring plan had been finalised. The plan revolves around reviving the PSM, which requires a huge financial injection for working capital and payment of salaries. It also talks about privatisation with clear deadlines to achieve the goal.

Confiscated vehicles

The ECC also approved a proposal of the Federal Board of Revenue to dismantle unserviceable confiscated tampered vehicles. It decided that body parts of these vehicles would be put up for auction.

The dismantling of the vehicles will be made under supervision of the committee in a transparent manner and chassis number would be made unusable.

The ECC also agreed that no NOC for the transfer of scrapped vehicles would be issued to anybody including the excise and taxation or motor registration authorities.

Crude transportation

The ECC also approved reimbursement of transportation cost of high speed diesel (HSD) to Pak Arab Refinery Company, giving a huge benefit to the company. The freight cost will be paid from the Inland Freight Equalisation Margin (IFEM) with the direction that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) would take into account this factor with effect from April 1.

Fertiliser production

The ECC constituted a five-member committee to determine the factors that were hindering production of fertiliser at full capacity by the local industry. The committee will present its report in the next ECC meeting, suggesting whether the government should undertake import of fertiliser or bank on domestic industry for meeting the demand for Kharif sowing season (April-September).

The ECC was informed that keeping in view demand and production there was a need to import 171,000 tons of fertiliser by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan. In addition to this, the Planning Commission has recommended that 200,000 tons of urea may be required for keeping strategic reserves.

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

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Working overtime: Govt finally releases due funds for municipal employees



PESHAWAR / CHARSADDA: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) Local Government (LG) has released Rs380,000 for overtime payments of Municipal Corporation employees.

While talking to The Express Tribune, the corporation’s employee Daraz Khan confirmed that hundreds of his coworkers have been waiting to receive overtime payments for the past one year. He believed that the corporation deliberately withheld funds using delay tactics.

LG Minister Inyatullah Khan ordered Municipal Corporation Administrator Rashid Ahmad Khan to pay the special duty increment to all employees.

General Secretary United Municipal Workers (UMW) Muhammad Fazal said that employees working in all four Peshawar towns have yet to receive overtime pay.

The overtime was served during special holidays including Muharramul Haram and Eid, according to a female employee who added that waiting any longer was proving to be difficult.

Khan assured that employees would receive their dues within the next two days. He confirmed that the amount comprised of five overtime payments – two carried forward from last year and three for the current year.

He claimed that this was the first time that the municipal administration was going to make ‘overtime’ payments, adding all other dues had already been paid.

Meanwhile, Charsadda’s Municipal Workers Union (MWU) President Abdul Rashid demanded that the government address employee promotions by March 24 at the earliest.

Charsadda Municipal Committee employees have threatened to stop reporting for duty and staged a protest over the delay in promotions. Rashid said that the government should take worker concerns more seriously and be fair to retired employees.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2014.


Protest by employees: FBISE chief sent on leave, secretary given charge



ISLAMABAD: 

In a bid to cool down the protesting employees, the education ministry has sent the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) top boss on leave for an indefinite period.

Meanwhile, FBISE Secretary Atiq Ahmad has been given charge to run the board’s affairs till the appointment of a new chairperson.

The move came after the board employees continued their protest against Chairperson Shaheen Khan alleging her to be involved in malpractice.

Khan had been occupying the seat since 2009.

Meanwhile, over 100 private candidates of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams, their parents and teachers were not allowed to enter the board building to get exams slips by the protesting staff, resulting in a clash between them.

They pelted stones at each other and used sticks, as a result, three students sustained minor injuries.

“Only three days are left for the exams but we have yet to get the slips,” said Munib Ali, a private student of class 10th. Ali along with other students had come to the board offices all the way from Rawat.

Examination Controller Sajid Abbasi, who was also protesting against the FBISE chief, claimed that the students had been sent by some elements to sabotage their  peaceful protest.

“We are not sent by anyone and we have our own issues. We do not have time to fight for others,” said Obaid, a teacher from Bhara Kahu.

When the clash turned violent, police were called to control the situation.

Assistant Commissioner Industrial Area Imran Sultan along with a heavy contingent of police reached the spot and brought the situation under control.

The FBISE office will remain open on Saturday and Sunday to facilitate the candidates in getting their examination slips, said an official.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2014.