PESHAWAR: The staff at Noshera Medical College (NMC) has been receiving salaries since 2014, despite the college not being recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Department (PMDC) and having an incomplete building, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department informed the provincial assembly on Wednesday.
The health department, in reply to lawmaker Uzma Khan’s question, stated that the department has recruited 97 staff members comprising 66 doctors and 31 other staff members for the medical college since July 2014 and have been paying them salaries. So far Rs158.7 million has been spent on staff salaries, while the NMC building remains under construction and awaiting approval from PMDC.
The department, in its written reply, also said that a total of 289 staffers have been hired for the Qazi Hussain Ahmed Medical Complex, a teaching hospital.
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Health Minister Shahram Khan explained to the house that it is a PMDC prerequisite to recruit staff in order to be recognised as a medical college. “The recognition process has started and the PMDC team visited the college in March 2017 to inspect it,” Khan said, adding that the college has met all previous requirements issued by PMDC.
The department also informed the house that some students approached Peshawar High Court, requesting that NMC holds classes. The court obliged and issued directives to the relevant departments in 2016. Since then 100 students have been enrolled and are studying at NMC despite there being no formal affiliation with the PMDC.
Local government minister Inayatullah Khan tabled the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) Bill 2017, in the house. The bill is aimed at giving an autonomous body status to the PDA which is still working without any legal standing.
The PDA lost its legal standing in 2002, when the government of the time put together the K-P Urban Development Board (Dissolution) Ordinance 2002, transferring its assets and liabilities to the local government department.
The government is also giving legal cover to the actions taken by PDA director general (DG) during the last 15 years through Section-51 of the bill.
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The bill defines the power and functions of the PDA, which is responsible for the development and planning of the areas under its supervision. The K-P chief minister will serve as the chairperson for the PDA while the local government minister will serve as the vice chairperson. Members will include a sitting K-P assembly member, nominated by the speaker. He will be joined by authority members such as Peshawar’s nazim and the secretaries for planning and development, finance, local government, forest and environment and the Peshawar commissioner.
The PDA DG will be jointly a member as well as a secretary for the authority. The bill describes the criteria for the appointment of PDA DG as an officer of BS-20 level or an initial recruit for a period of three years.
Inayatullah also tabled the K-P Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2017, which will authorise a local government department deputy commissioner, assistant commissioner or assistant director to spend developmental budgets at district, town or village council level where there are no local government elections and no local body system.
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