PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa relief, rehabilitation and settlement (RR&S) department laid off 23 staffers from the Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority (PaRRSA) spreading fear among the project employees in the provincial civil secretariat.
The PaRRSA programme manager issued a notification extending contracts of 58 employees of the authority till June 30, 2017 while, contracts of 23 employees including the authority’s spokesperson, administrator, infrastructure coordinator and supportive staff, which expired on December 31, were not extended.
“We had no idea that we would be fired this way,” said an employee whose contract has not been extended.
“I have been serving the authority since its establishment in 2009 when its working was limited to Malakand Division. We were the people who built it and ran it in the critical times of 2010 floods and 2015 earthquake,” he said.
Another employee accused the department’s higher-ups of nepotism.
“Newly inducted staffers have been given extension while those running the authority for years have been kicked out,” said the second employee, adding that they would challenge the decision in court.
PaRRSA programme manager Sajid Imran said that the decision was taken under PaRRSA’s ‘rationalisation policy’.
“A committee was constituted to cut down PaRRSA’s expenditures and reduce its staff,” Imran said, adding that extra staff has been removed and their duties have been adjusted.
In July last year, salaries of the employees started getting delayed when the RR&S department rant out of funds to meet the operational cost and salaries of PaRRSA.
According to documents available with The Express Tribune, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was funding the operational cost and salaries since April 2012, amounting of US$3.6 million, which ended on June 30, 2016 after which the department had no money to pay salaries.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2017.
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