Devolution took their jobs away

Terminated after the Health Ministry was devolved, 47 employees now seek answers.

Obaid Abbasi August 22, 2011


Some 47 contracted employees working for Prevention and Control Programs will now have a reply for themselves. They had moved the court challenging the verbal termination of their service.

On Monday, replies were sought from establishment secretary, Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and subcommittee control chairman by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan directed the respondents to submit their comments by August 26.

The action has been taken after Azhar Nisar Sheikh and 46 other contracted employees filed a writ petition in the IHC challenging their verbal termination from different projects of Ministry of Health including National Programme for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis, National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), National Program for Control of Blindness (NPCB), and Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).

Defence counsel Amjad Iqbal contended that the 47 employees of different grades were hired on merit and had been working for the health ministry on contract basis for the last 10 to 12 years, but after the devolution of the Health Ministry on June 29, they were asked to stop coming to their offices. This was done without any formal notification.

He informed the court that vaccines and medicines worth more than Rs1 billion are likely to expire as a result of the haphazard termination of staff.

Iqbal claimed that after the devolution, their salaries for June had also been withheld.

“After the devolution of health ministry, CADD was supposed to accommodate contracted employees working in the Federal Capital, but CADD did not accommodate them, nor were they regularised,” he argued.

Iqbal informed the court that after the devolution, the government had regularised as many as 490 employees working in different project of the ministry.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.