A local court on Tuesday ordered the government to pay 20 per cent special allowance to employees of departments affiliated with federal ministries with effect from March.
Islamabad High Court’s judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed the finance ministry to disburse the special allowance without discrimination. Advocate Asad Hussain Ghalib representing petitioners from the Pakistan Council of Science and Technology, contended that even though his clients were employees of the science and technology ministry, they were not awarded the special allowance which was unfair.
The petitioners’ counsel maintained that employees who were granted special allowance including employees of the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat, National Assembly, Senate secretariat, Prime Minister’s Secretariat and the President House were already getting an allowance with their basic pay. “All employees of attached departments are eligible to get special allowance and they should be treated equally,” he added.
The petitioners, who belong to various departments, had maintained in their respective petitions that former premier Raja Pervez Ashraf had approved 20 per cent special allowance for employees of federal ministries but not for them which was discriminatory.
Additional secretary finance and regulations, who was summoned earlier by the court, had said that the finance ministry had written to all departments for details and came to know that not all of them were getting special allowance.
However Justice Siddiqui observed that this was discriminatory and employees of attached departments should also be given special allowance.
Earlier Deputy Attorney General Tariq Mahmood in his reply had informed the court that the allowance was for employees of federal ministries because the employees from affiliated departments were already getting allowances.
More than 20 petitions had been filed by employees of attached departments of federal ministries including the National Centre for Rural Development, National Achieves, Federal Flood Commission, Public Works Department, Capital Development Authority, Staff Welfare Organisation, Department of Library and Pakistan Council for Science and Technology, who had challenged a notification issued by the finance ministry during the previous government for approval of a special allowance for employees in federal ministries and the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2013.