After objections raised by the Ministry of Finance over its implications on the budget, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has put on hold the compensation package meant for families of government employees who die during service, said an official of the Establishment Division.
The revised compensation package would be announced only after clearance by a Secretaries Committee, said the official, while giving a statement in a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday.
Headed by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, the standing committee had called the Ministry of Finance and Establishment Division for an explanation over the delay in implementing the assistance package. Muhammad Waqar, an employee of the Ministry of Defense, had filed a petition in the Senate, requesting the intervention of the upper house of the parliament to resolve the issue.
Read: Budget debate: Senators seek raises for govt employees
In October last year, the prime minister had approved the assistance package and was to include affected families with effect from June, 2013. However, the Ministry of Finance put its foot down and refused to bill the package, terming the cost too high.
Under the package, the PM had announced Rs2.5 million assistance for the families of deceased government servants in the Basic Pay Scale (BPS)-1 to BPS-16, Rs4 million for BPS-17, Rs8 million for BPS-18 and 19 and Rs9 million for BPS-20 and above.
In case of security-related incidents, the amount for BPS 1-16 were set at Rs3 million, Rs5 million for BPS-17, Rs9 million for BPS-18-19 and Rs10 million for BPS-20 and above.
The premier had also announced free education and health services to all the children of the deceased government employees up to the age of 18. In addition, the PM had announced employment for one of the family members up to BPS-15, on a regular basis without advertisement against the post criteria the applicant fulfills.
After the Ministry of Finance’s objections, the PM constituted a Secretaries Committee, which is headed by Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood, to finalise the revised package, said the Establishment Division official.
The compensation package had been announced without consulting the Ministry of Finance, said a senior official of the ministry. He said the committee was close to completing its work and the package would be announced in the near future.
Other issues addressed
The standing committee also took up a petition of a government servant who complained against the Ministry of Finance for not implementing a court’s decision to grant 20% special allowance to the employees of the attached departments.
Read: A united front: Govt employees decry police action in federal capital
It recommended that the Ministry of Finance should implement the court’s decision. The Islamabad High Court has already given its decision in favour of the employees of the attached departments; however, the government has applied for Intra Court Appeal.
The employees of the attached departments were left out when former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf increased salaries of the employees of federal ministries and divisions just ten days before the completion of his government’s constitutional term in 2013.
Employees of the attached departments have challenged the government’s decision in IHC, which, in June 2013, asked the finance ministry to meet out equal treatment to all.
The joint secretary regulations told the standing committee that the cost of giving 20% increase to the employees of all the attached departments was Rs50 billion, which the government cannot afford.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2015.
Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ