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PA body opposes new residential blocks for bureaucrats

Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) has opposed the proposed construction of official residences in Bath Island, Clifton and Gulistan-e-Jauhar in Karachi as well as Sindh House in Gwadar and Rest House in Khairpur till the flood rehabilitation process is completed in the province.

Joint opposition leader Jam Madad Ali Khan, who chaired the meeting at the assembly’s committee room on Wednesday, observed that since the government had cut uplift funds of MPAs to divert financial resources for the rehabilitation of infrastructure and flood affectees, it would be advisable for the government not to construct new residences for the bureaucrats or officers.

The MPAs also decided to conduct visit of offices and official residences next week, whose repair and maintenance work was reportedly completed up to 85-90 per cent to verify the same and submit report to the Sindh Assembly.

While reviewing the proposed ADP schemes of the S&GAD for the financial year 2011-12, the MPAs also recommended the provincial government to regularize the services of contract employees to avoid unrest as these employees frequently resort to protest for payment of salaries and job security.

Secretary S&GAD Mohammed Waseem told the MPAs that there were eight ongoing schemes, however, he said that there was a plan to construct new residential block for the officials at Bath Island, Clifton.

Besides, there was a proposed scheme to construct residences for 17, 18 and 19 grade officials in Gulistan-e-Jauhar spread over 4010 square yards worth Rs209 million. Similarly, the government was considering to construct circuit house in Khairpur city at an estimated cost of over Rs78 million. There was also a proposed project of constructing Sindh House in Gwadar at an estimated cost of over Rs35 million.

Waseem informed the MPAs that Balochistan chief minister had provided one acre land in Gwadar for Sindh House, which was insufficient. He said they have taken up this matter with the Balochistan authorities for providing more land.

To a question by Jam Madad regarding regularization of contract or temporary employees, Waseem said the heads of the administrative departments need to apply their minds judiciously by submitting proposals to Finance Department in this regard.

He promised that he would take up the issue of contract and temporary employees before the competent forum. The Finance Department official informed that if the parent departments approached them with some justification they might approve SNE (schedule of new expenditure).

Jam Madad said it has been observed that contract employees do not get salaries regularly, prompting them to resort to protests frequently. He said if the parent departments did not raise their plight then the MPAs would approach the chief minister and chief secretary to create permanent posts for them in order to end unrest among them.

To a question, the Secretary S&GAD admitted that the condition of Circuit House Hyderabad was very bad but its repair was dropped on the directions of chief minister owing to the devastated floods.

He hoped that all eight ongoing schemes would be completed this year. The committee chairman Sardar Ahmed Ali Khan Pitafi could not attend the meeting presumably because of his other engagements.

Other MPAs who attended the meeting, included: Abdul Moid Siddiqi, Muzammal Qureshi and Aleem Rehman of MQM and Ali Murad Rajar of the PPP.

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