Going gets even better for Grade-22 officers
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf has generously announced residential plots in the capital, and some additional perks for all Grade-22 officers in the federal bureaucracy.
In his meeting with the federal secretaries a few days back, according to sources, Musharraf announced that the package offered to the federal secretaries recently would now be extended to every officer promoted to BS-22. This package would even be available to those who have already been allotted residential plots in the fast shrinking federal capital. Formal orders to this effect would be issued by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
The special bounty for the top bureaucrats at the cost of public money includes special pay at the rate of 20 per cent; post-retirement lifetime facility of driver/orderly; and one residential plot (in addition to the one allotted through the federal government employees housing scheme).
A few months back, the prime minister had announced the same package for selected BS-22 officers, officiating as administrative head of federal ministries and divisions. The bureaucracy, known for its red-tape when it comes to the issues pertaining to general public, takes hardly a few weeks to implement the prime minister order even to the extent of making allotment of 500 square metres plots in the D-12 Sector of Islamabad.
The offering of the generous package to a selected class amongst the BS-22 officers led to a sharp reaction from those BS-22 officers who were not covered under the prime minister’s order. Most of such “aggrieved” BS-22 officers formally wrote to the prime minister through the Establishment Division to protest against this discrimination and sought the extension of this largesse to all BS-22 officers.
In their representations, they termed the prime minister’s order as violation of the Constitution. There were also some who were preparing to challenge the “discriminatory package” in the court of law.
Almost 42 BS-22 officers, serving as federal secretaries, including even those who were re-employed, were allotted the D-12 plots, while a significant number of the serving lot in BS-22, belonging to the Secretariat Group, Foreign Service, Accounts Group and others were simply not entitled to the said package because they were not serving in the federal secretariat. The number of such officers is said to be in dozens.
What has really hurt many was that while a reasonable number of the serving lot in BS-22 was denied the package, the same was offered to a large number of contract appointees currently serving as federal secretaries despite the fact that their contract agreements do not contain any such provision.
Amongst the contract appointees, who should otherwise be thankful for getting post-retirement job, those allowed the additional perks include Secretary Defence Lf-Gen (retd) Tariq Waseem Ghazi, Secretary Defence Production Lt-Gen (retd) Shahid Siddiq Tirmizey, Secretary Election Commission KM Dilshad, Secretary Establishment Division Syed Tariq Ali Bukhari, Secretary General Finance Navid Ahsan, Secretary Foreign Affairs Riaz Muhammad Khan, Secretary Law & Justice (retd) Mansoor Ahmad, Secretary National Security Council Tariq Aziz, secretary religious affairs Vakil Ahmad Khan, and secretary science and technology Pervez Butt.
Generally, the bureaucracy has not welcomed the additional package for the reason that the beneficiaries are only the top bureaucrats. A senior joint secretary (BS-21) officer was humiliating towards the secretaries committee, which according to the officer has looked after the vested interest of its members instead of doing well for the bureaucracy.
“The secretaries committee has not to look after the interest of its incumbent members but of the whole community (bureaucracy),” the official said on condition of anonymity, lamenting that the bureaucracy’s elite could not see beyond their nose.
Interestingly, the summary for the prime minister, which previously secured the package for the federal secretaries, included a commitment on behalf of the Capital Development Authority that the required number of plots in D-12 Sector was available for the federal secretaries if the prime minister approved the idea.
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