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Islamabad: The Federal Cabinet has approved Voluntary Severance Scheme (VSS) and Compulsory Golden Handshake Scheme (GHS) for the employees of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) under Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020.

On September 7, 2021, National Health Services Regulations & Coordination Division briefed the Cabinet that the Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020 was promulgated to provide for the regulation and control of the medical profession; to establish a uniform minimum standard of basic and higher medical education and training and recognition of qualifications in medicine and dentistry. The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) consists of a Medical and Dental Council, a National Medical and Dental Academic Board and a National Medical Authority under sub-section (4) clause “a b & c” of Section-3 of PMC Act 2020.

In terms of Section-B (2) (a) of the Act the Council is responsible to appoint the members, officers and employees of the Commission, on such terms and conditions as the Council deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act and to provide for all matters relating to welfare, terms and conditions of service of the members, officers and employees of the Commission in accordance with regulations framed by the Council and including the right to institute a compulsory golden handshake scheme subject to approval of the Federal Government or such other severance package for the employees of the Commission, as it may deem proper.

The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) had drafted two Schemes namely “Voluntary Severance Package Scheme” and “Compulsory Golden Handshake Scheme” for the employees of PMC. Voluntary Severance Scheme would be allowed existing regular employees of the PMC for voluntarily exit from service with financial benefits. However, if an employee who does not opt for VSS and his services were no more required then Golden Handshake Scheme would be applicable.

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The VSS was more beneficial / financial as compare to Compulsory Golden Handshake Scheme as follows: - a- VSS, ex-gratia payment @ 1-month basic pay as paid in March 2021 multiplied by balance years of service left before the normal date of retirement. For any period of residual service less than a year, calculations should be assessed proportionately. Ex-gratia payment @ 1-month basic pay as was received for the month of August 2O2O multiplied by the years of service completed as on 23rd September, 2021. For every completed year of service or any period in excess of six months shall be treated as full year and period less than six months will not be entitled for payment.

b- CGH Scheme ;(i) ex-gratia payment @ 72 months’ basic pay as paid in March 2021 multiplied by balance years of service left before the normal date of retirement. For any period of residual service less than a year, calculations should be assessed proportionately;(ii) ex-gratia payment @ 1 month’s basic pay as was received for the month of August 2020 multiplied by the years of service completed as on September 23, 2021. Every completed year of service or any period in excess of six months shall be treated as full year and period less than six months will not be entitled for payment.

The Finance Division in its comments had no objection to the “Compulsory Golden Handshake Scheme” for the employees of the PMC provided that the financial implications of the Schemes shall be borne by PMC. The Federal Government shall not bear any financial liabilities of the VSS and GHS Schemes. The Law & Justice Division had also opined that in view of Section B(2)(a) of PMC Act, 2020, the Council had the power to institute a compulsory golden handshake scheme subject to approval of the Federal Government.

After discussion, the Cabinet approved both schemes for the employees of Pakistan Medical Commission as per the recommendations of National Health Services Regulations & Coordination Division.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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