There is deep-rooted resentment among Gilgit-Baltistan’s civil servants as their demands for equal pay status with federal bureaucrats posted in G-B continue to go unheard.
The ‘Transition Plan Committee 2009’ had approved equal pay package for G-B civil servants in office management service, legal advisory service and district management service. Although the plan is yet to be implemented for G-B employees, the finance division quickly implemented this package for federal government officers in the province.
The officials posted in G-B were offered 100% additional incentive pay, 50% allowance, five free air tickets for their families per year and the choice to retain two government-owned houses, one in Gilgit and another in their previous posting location.
Federal officers of basic pay scale (BPS)-20 and above also receive transport compensation despite the fact that two to three luxury vehicles with drivers are also in their use for all purposes.
“Meetings are held on a daily basis to finalise an action plan that will address the discrimination,” said an official requesting anonymity. “The all-pervasive federal bureaucracy posted in G-B has frustrated our efforts in this regard.”
Following the directives of the prime minister’s secretariat for the early implementation of the plan, Chief Minister Mehdi Shah also followed up with clear directives to implement the recommendation in December last year. However, nothing came of his efforts either, according to the official.
He alleged bureaucrats posted in G-B attached little importance to the rule of law as it was a non-constitutional province. “But when it comes to availing benefits, they get their full share as if G-B was a regular province.”
The official explained federal bureaucrats had the same share in G-B as they did in constitutional provinces. They claim 65% of the seats in BPS-21 posts, 60% in BPS-20 posts, 50% in BPS-19 posts, 40% in BPS-18 posts and 25% in BPS-17, he added.
“We have also been inducted by the Federal Public Service Commission through competitive examinations, so there should be no discrimination in pay and perks between the two types of bureaucracy,” he said, adding the job quota for G-B employees should be raised so that they get equal chances for promotion.
Spokesperson for Chief Minister Mehdi Shah’s office, Sajjad Haq said: “the chief minister is updated on the issue and is doing his best to reach a settlement.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.