Govt changes accommodation policy for retired employees

Now, retired civil servants will not be able to keep govt accommodation

Zafar Bhutta May 09, 2020
PHOTO: Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The government has withdrawn the policy of retaining state accommodation for officials seeking voluntary retirement after completion of 25 years of service.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the government had amended the policy titled "Retention of Government Accommodation on Retirement after Completion of 25 Years of Service".

Earlier, the officials after retirement or expiry of the contract were entitled to keep the accommodation for six months on payment of normal rent.

The decision was taken by the cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Housing and Works Division informed the cabinet that besides other businesses, as laid down in the Rules of Business 1973, the Ministry of Housing and Works had the mandate to allot government accommodation to the eligible government servants under provisions of the Accommodation Allocation Rules (AAR).

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Under Rule 15(2) of the Accommodation Allocation Rules 2002, "an allottee on his retirement or expiry of the contract shall be entitled to retain the accommodation under his occupation for a period not exceeding six months, on payment of normal rent."

The Ministry of Finance's official memorandum dated 04-12-1991, however, allows a government servant in BS-21 and 22 pay scales to keep state accommodation on voluntary retirement after completion of 25 years of service till the age of superannuation.

The incentive was offered in the restructuring policy of the federal government, designed to encourage civil servants to take early retirement and enjoy the benefit of keeping government accommodation along with other incentives. However, the Finance Division memorandum was in conflict with the AAR 2002 and reduced the stock of official accommodation available with the Ministry of Housing and Works.

In order to remove the anomaly, a summary was prepared by the housing ministry for approval by the prime minister, which sought an amendment to the Finance Division's official memorandum.

The Prime Minister's Office, while conveying, in principle, approval, gave directives for drawing up separate summaries for the president and the federal cabinet for making an amendment to the official memorandum, as advised by the Law and Justice Division.

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The cabinet was informed that the Finance Division's memorandum was issued with the approval of the federal cabinet, as such, powers to make an amendment to the memorandum rested with the same authority, in terms of Section 21 of the General Clauses Act 1897.

The Housing and Works Division solicited approval of the cabinet for making changes to the Finance Division's memorandum to the extent that the facility of keeping the official accommodation till the date of superannuation on early retirement might be withdrawn and all allotments would be made according to the AAR 2002.

The cabinet considered the summary titled "Revision of Policy Regarding Retention of Government Accommodation on Retirement after Completion of 25 Years' Service in light of Finance Division Official Memorandum", dated April 10, 2020, submitted by the Housing and Works Division, and approved the proposal.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2020.

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