Ten consultants working for the privatisation commission have been abruptly removed from service without being served any prior notice.
One of the consultants whose employment was terminated said that they were handed notices on Monday informing them that their contract had been cancelled as a result of the department downsizing and cutting back its expenses. Other sources, however, claim that while ten consultants were removed from service, six others were given increases in their compensation the same day.
“We were just confused and shocked. They should have given us a notice period of a month as per law,” said one of the sacked consultants who wished to remain anonymous.
“As per contract we are supposed to be given one month notice and one month salary. We were given the salary but not the notice.”
The ten contractors had been hired by Senator Waqar Ahmad Khan when he was the privatisation minister. They were fired on the instructions of Naveed Qamar, the new privatisation minister who has taken his oath of office but has not taken charge of his official duties as yet, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The commission, however, denied that any consultants had been fired. Spokesman Tahir Parwaz said that the commission does not hire consultants, only transaction managers who are given fixed period contracts that may or may not be subject to renewal.
He said that the commission follows the standard practice of giving one month’s notice to all contract employees or one-month salary in case of immediate termination.
Parwaz, however, did acknowledge that the cabinet reshuffle often results in contracts of temporary employees being terminated, though he suggested that this was common across other government departments as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2011.
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