End disparity in pay packages

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PRIME Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reportedly taken notice of the selective implementation of 150 per cent executive allowance which was approved in the current year’s fiscal budget for those serving in BPS 17 to 22.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari raised the matter in the Federal Cabinet meeting while drawing attention towards the fact that the allowance is not being given to the Foreign Service, the Economist and Technical Group, the Commerce and Trade and the Information Groups.

The notification issued by the Finance Ministry vis-à-vis payment of the executive allowance favours mostly the all powerful Pakistan Administrative Services.

This discriminatory attitude has led other groups staging protest whilst employees of lower ranks are also holding demonstrations for ignoring their plight.

The fact of the matter is that there exists a serious remuneration disparity in the pay packages which need to be removed as it is only creating heart burning amongst the employees.

For their benefit, the elite class of employees carve out ways to maximize their packages whilst on the other hand, there are departments such as Radio Pakistan where employees are not even being given their salaries and pensions.

Recent reports suggest that the state broadcaster is faced with serious financial crunch which need to be addressed so that its employees can work with a sense of complete satisfaction.

Whilst the PM has taken notice of the selective implementation of executive allowance, we expect that now its implementation will be ensured across the board including in the attached departments of the ministries.

If there is resource constraint, then the allowance may be brought down to 100pc or even 80pc.

Pay and Pension Commission has been working over the last many years but it is yet to come up with its recommendations.

The PM should also give directions to it to complete its work before the next budget so that their recommendations can be incorporated in the next year’s budget.

The focus must be bringing uniformity in pay packages. Since, the price hike has broken the back of lower staff, the government must immediately announce some relief package for them as well.