ISLAMABAD: One fourth of the total employees of the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USCP) are facing allegations of irregularities, malpractice and theft.
These allegations have been levelled against 3,490 employees during the past five years. These employees make up 24% of the total strength of the organisation, said a written reply submitted in the National Assembly during the ongoing session.
The USCP, which was established some 44 years ago, has 5,491 outlets across the country with a total strength of 14,500 employees. In terms of strength of the employees, the USCP is one of the largest corporations of Pakistan.
A lawmaker in the lower house had inquired of the federal minister for industries whether it was a fact that various allegations had been levelled against a number of officers and in-charges of USCP’s warehouses and stores.
Most allegations were levelled against employees of the Multan Zone and there were complaints against a total of 1,890 USCP employees in Punjab alone. The employees against whom allegations were levelled form around 55%.
The Karachi zone’s employees have faced the least allegations during the past five years. Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan but allegations were levelled against just 82 employees of the zone.
Due to these allegations, 639 employees were dismissed or terminated from their services. As many as 192 employees were demoted, 1,246 were issued warning and 70 were fined. Cases against 664 employees were being probed while increment of 679 employees was stopped as punishment.
In reply to another query of a lawmaker, the ministry confirmed that the corporation was running in a loss. However, various measures were being taken to increase its sales and mitigate losses.
To decrease losses, steps are being taken to improve market intelligence and supply chain and procurement mechanism, parliament was told. Joint business plans are also made with top-level national and multinational companies.
The ministry said the USCP is continuously shifting the stores from unviable locations to viable ones. The USCP’s basic responsibly is to provide grocery items at rates lower than in the open market.