A National Assembly committee on Friday directed the finance ministry to present at its next meeting a draft of an amendment bill on the governance and operations of government agencies.
The ministry’s officials informed the members of the NA Committee on Finance it had proposed setting up of cabinet sub-committee on state enterprises.
A central monitoring unit will also be set up to review the performance of government agencies, they added.
The committee met under the chairmanship of MNA Faizullah Kamoka.
The issue of 25% disparity allowance for Punjab University employees was discussed in detail in the meeting.
The registrar of the Punjab University said that 25% disparity allowance was a decision of the federal government.
“It has been implemented in the federal universities but not in the Punjab University,” he added.
The finance ministry’s officials said the federal government had issued a notification and formally asked the provinces and autonomous bodies to make their own decisions.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) officials told the participants that the Punjab University could give disparity allowance to its employees with the approval of its chancellor.
The matter can be decided according to the financial condition of the university, they noted, adding that several universities were currently facing losses.
The registrar told the committee that the budget of Punjab University for the current financial year was Rs12 billion.
PML-N MNA Ahsan Iqbal, a committee member, pointed out that the government should focus on public sector universities.
He added that the HEC should review the financial condition of universities and submit its report to the National Economic Council (NEC).
He stressed the need for teachers working at public sector universities to be paid according to the market.
The chairman said that if teachers could not be given salaries as per the market rate, then they must be paid the disparity allowance.
“The allowance should be given where the financial condition of the university allows it,” he added.
He further said the committee would send its recommendations on the matter to the Punjab government.
Ahsan said no university should be considered an autonomous institution and the Punjab government should chalk out a uniform policy on disparity allowance.
The PML-N MNA also demanded that the devaluation of the rupee and the Pandora Papers be brought on the agenda.
He added that the rupee had depreciated by Rs20 in three months and that had increased inflation.
On this occasion, committee member Aisha Ghaus Pasha, also of the PML-N, supported the demand.
The meeting was briefed on the key points of the amendment bill on governance and operations of government agencies.
However, Aisha said that no progress could be made on the bill until it was presented.
Ahsan maintained that they would not operate like a rubber stamp on the whims of the IMF.
The committee then directed the ministry to present the draft of the bill at its next meeting.
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