PPP's 2011 regularisation on debt commission’s radar

Published: September 16, 2019
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The inquiry commission formed by the prime minister to determine the reasons behind the country’s debt pile-up in the past 10 years has taken notice of the regularisation of contractual employees of the federal government by a cabinet sub-committee headed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Syed Khursheed Shah when his party was in power.

The cabinet division has summoned data from all ministries and division related to the body, also called the Khursheed Shah committee, which was formed by the PPP government in 2011.

According to the documents available with The Express Tribune, the commission sought the notification for the formation of the committee, its terms of reference and mandate and minutes of all its meetings. It has also asked for details regularisation employees above grade 16.

On the inquiry of the commission, the cabinet division has sent a circular to all ministries seeking these details.

In the cabinet division’s letter, the ministries have been asked as to whether or not the authorities concerned had given their approval to the regularisation of the employees, the provincial quota was taken into consideration and the conditions of age and experience were relaxed.

On June 22, 2018, a division bench of the Islamabad High Court headed by Justice Aamer Farooq had ordered making all daily-wage staff in federal educational institutions up to basic pay scale grade 15 permanent, including all those employees regularised by the committee led by Shah.

Sources said the commission was being used to trap Shah, as the committee’s constitution, mandate and all aspects had been examined by the top court. Therefore the commission taking notice of the matter could be a politically-motivated move.

The committee had regularized 183 contractual and daily wages employees of the National Highway Authority and Motorway Police under the Ministry of Communication, 215 employees of the Civil Aviation Authority under the Ministry of Defence, 173 employees of the Associated Press of Pakistan under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 72  employees of the offices of Islamabad Capital Territory under the Ministry of Interior, 413 employees of the Ministry of National Food Security including 13 of the Fisheries Development Board, 139 of the Live Stock Daily Development Board and 215 of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council.

Similarly, the committee also approved the regularisation of 20,719 employees of the Ministry of Water and Power including 793 of QESCO and 3,598 of WAPDA.

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