The government’s plan to monetise the facility of cars, petrol and drivers for Grade 20 to 22 officers has been delayed due to absence of input from provinces and instead of planned implementation from July, it may come into force in September, sources say.
Monetisation means converting the transport facility into a fixed monetary allowance in salary. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, in the budget for 2011-12 announced in early June, had withdrawn the facility of cars, drivers, petrol and maintenance allowance from government officers as part of an austerity drive to restrict runaway expenditures. In place of these, the officers will get a combined allowance in their salaries.
According to sources, the finance ministry had taken back these facilities from Grade 20 to 22 officers and a scheme for adding a transport allowance to their salaries had been forwarded to the Cabinet Division. However, the Cabinet Division is yet to approve the summary, which argues that provinces must be taken into confidence and a consensus among provinces is necessary before giving the go-ahead to the scheme.
Sources said the Cabinet Division had contacted the provinces on July 15 and put the details of the scheme before them, but their formal response was still awaited. According to Cabinet Division authorities, if the provinces agree to the scheme, then it will come into effect from September.
According to the summary prepared by the finance ministry, Grade 20 officers will get an additional Rs60,000 in place of car, driver and petrol allowance, Grade 21 officers will receive an additional Rs65,000 and Grade 22 officers will see an increase of Rs75,000 in their salaries.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.