Unregularised daily wagers: Parliamentary panel angry over truant government officials

Published: January 4, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Enraged by the non-implementation of its recommendation on regularisation of daily wagers, a parliamentary panel on Tuesday directed the finance, law, cabinet and establishment secretaries to appear before it in its next meeting.

Failure to appear before the panel would force the parliamentarians to have the officials arrested.

The regularisation issue of some 2,000 teaching and non-teaching staff working on daily-wage basis for years in schools and colleges of Islamabad Capital Territory has been lingering for months despite resolutions passed by the Senate. Discussions in various parliamentary committees and directives from the Islamabad High Court have also failed to resolve the issue.

In its meeting on Tuesday, the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat decided to call all concerned secretaries and IG Islamabad and the FPSC chairman to attend the next meeting to deliberate over the matter.

The committee members also staged a walk out over non-implementation of its recommendations but later joined the proceedings.

The lawmakers said that the State Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Tariq Fazal had assured the committee that measures were being taken to regularise the services of daily wage staff but nothing had happened and that now avoids attending meetings of the committee.

Senator Shahi Syed remarked the government should abolish the committee if it does not want to implement its recommendations.

He further demanded that an implementation report should be submitted to the committee before its next meeting.

Senator Mir Yousaf Badini said teachers are nation-builders, but here the teachers have become rolling stones between various ministries.

He recommended calling a one-agenda meeting of the committee wherein all concerned secretaries must be present in addition to Dr Fazal so that the issue be resolved once for all.

The committee members subsequently endorsed the decision. Last year on September 9, the Senate passed a unanimous resolution to regularise services of daily-wage staffers. That resolution came as daily-wagers had not been paid for around

Daily wage teachers and staff in the capital, who are paid Rs14,000 a month, had to wait for nearly five months last year to get paid. In the end, it took street demonstrations and boycotts by teachers to force the government into releasing their funds.

And even when the funds were released, it was partial for some with several teachers facing massive cuts for the time they had skipped classes in protest.

Earlier this week, teachers reportedly threatened to stage another protest after the finance division reportedly rejected a summary to release withheld salary.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2017.

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