PESHAWAR: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has unearthed the payment of extra-ordinary allowances to the tone of Rs.9132.970 million to employees during financial year 2018-19, said Audit Report on the Accounts of Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The report has been presented in the provincial assembly and the Speaker has referred it to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the house. During review and scrutiny of summaries of Establishment Department and subsequent notifications by Finance Department dated 7.01.2016, 19.10.2018 and 2.2.2018, health professional allowances, technical allowances and executive allowances were allowed to medical doctors, engineers and PCS/PAS/PMS officers working in the provincial government against scheduled posts. The financial implications of the allowances were Rs.9132.970 million.
The executive allowance was granted to all BPS-17 and above officers of PAS, PMS and PCS working against scheduled posts at the 1.5 percent of the basic pay. Health professional allowance was granted to all doctors, nurses and paramedics of the Health Department while technical allowance as given to the engineers of PHE, irrigation, C&W and LG&RDD. The approval was given by the provincial cabinet.
According to the audit report, these allowances have been granted in violation of the Article 38 (e) of the Constitution of Pakistan, which provides that State shall reduce disparity in the income and earnings of individuals, including persons in various classes of the service of Pakistan.
The report has also mentioned the violation of Article 119 of the constitution in the matter, which provides that the payment of money into and the withdrawal of money from the Provincial Consolidated Fund shall be regulated by the Act of the provincial assembly. The provision determines the approving authority for the payment to be made for these allowances. It means that the provincial assembly and not the provincial cabinet is approving forum.
The article 25 of the constitution also emphasizes the equality of all citizens before law. Although this article is general in nature but it clearly guarantees equal rights of all citizens and civil servants too are citizens of Pakistan whereas these allowances discriminate a very large segment of government servants of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Para 10 (IV) of the General Finance Rules also says that public money should not be utilized for the benefit of a particular person or the section of community and while approving these allowances the provincial government has not taken into consideration this specific Para of the GFR, which actually prohibits such discriminatory payments to a particular section of a community. It said that the basic spirit of the Civil Service Reforms of 1973 was to bring at par all the emoluments of all the Civil Servants of Pakistan. The outcome of those reforms was the Uniformed Grade Scheme and the Civil Servant Act, 1973, which regulate not only the service structure of all the civil servants, but also define the emoluments of all the government servants. By granting the aforementioned allowances, the provincial government has weakened the very foundation of the Uniformed Grade Scheme.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022