Non-gazetted employees of Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination on Thursday protested against non-payment of their salaries for over four months.
The 35 employees, ranging from grade 1-15, gathered outside the National Press Club and criticised the non-implementation of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) orders directing authorities to recognise them as regular employees.
Talking to The Express Tribune, protesters informed that since January 2013, they have not received salaries and now it has become very difficult for them to make ends meet. They revealed that they were deputed to the ministry from the National Council for Homoeopathy in May 2012 to fill vacancies due to a ban on new hiring. We were accepted as regular employees but later when the name of the ministry changed, officials refused to regularise us, they said.
The disgruntled workers had filed a writ petition in the IHC and on March 7, 2013, the court ordered the ministry to accept them as regular employees.
Ministry of Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Joint Secretary Arshad Farooq told The Express Tribune that the ministry was yet to receive any notice from the IHC.
He further said the court gave directives of regularising these employees without listening to the ministry’s stance on the matter.
“However, the ministry, through Law and Justice Division, has challenged the IHC order in the Supreme Court while the Federal Investigation Agency is also investigating the case of these 35 employees,” he said.
Protesters urged ministry high-ups to take pity on them and release their pending salaries as they do not have any money for iftar and sehri.
“It’s been almost four months but the ministry is yet to take any measures,” said Afaq, one of the protesters.
Mohammad Irfan, who is the sole bread winner of his family, said the ministry’s apathy has left him with no resources to tend to his ailing parents.
“I do not even have money to pay the rent of my house and the owner is asking me to vacate it,” he added.
Farooq said that when the ministry’s name was changed, an inquiry was conducted against hiring of all the employees, which revealed that the case of these 35 employees was fraud and bogus.
“Section officer and registrar at the National Council for Homoeopathy are the real culprits behind this mess as they conducted this bogus induction,” he claimed.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2013.