The petroleum ministry has taken notice of 136 ghost employees of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) who are getting paid despite never making it to the office.
These employees are a burden on consumers of natural gas as SSGC seeks funds from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) in revenue requirement to meet expenses of human resource. Sources said that ghost employees were working in the Islamabad office apparently with political backing.
The ministry has expressed serious concerns after coming to know about the ghost employees who were being paid high salaries but were not performing their duties. The petroleum ministry has directed SSGC management to transfer these employees and not succumb to any political pressure.
“The Islamabad office has few sanctioned posts but a huge number of employees have been assigned and become a burden on the exchequer,” sources said adding that they were doing part time jobs in SSGC. “They are engaged in other businesses and just show up at the end of month to pick up their cheques,” sources said.
Ministry of Petroleum has directed SSGC to transfer these employees from Islamabad office to some other stations. “If they do not join the concerned offices, their salaries should be withheld and after some time their services should be terminated,” said a petroleum ministry official.
Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Managing Director Azeem Iqbal Sidiqui confirmed that some surplus employees have been posted at the Islamabad office. However, he said that there were only 20 to 25 in number who were surplus. He said that most these employees are from Northern Areas, Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and can not afford living in Karachi.
“We are working with Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) for mutual transfer of these employees,” he said adding that the Islamabad office is a liaison office that requires not more than 50 to 60 officials. He further said that there are such officials working in the petroleum ministry as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012.