NHA’s illegal recruitments could not grab Murad Saeed’s attention

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Rana Tassaddiq Hussain

Islamabad

Prime Minister Imran Khan has been holding mandate for his strict stance against corruption and his will to abandon and abolish status quo culture in Pakistan.
After forming the government, PTI’s minister started an austerity drive in their respective ministries to reduce government expenditures. The performance of Murad Saeed, then State Minister for Communication had been outstanding so he secured his promotion to the Federal Minister in the same ministry.
But the minister has been completely failed to address the illegal inductions and illicit recruitments in his ministry especially the autonomous department i.e. National Highway Authority. These appointments are causing a serious and continuous damage to national exchequer and are a waste of tax payers’ money.
Though irregularities, illegal and illicit inductions and appointments in NHA are numerous but here we are focusing on an ongoing departmental inquiry of 16 officers. All these 16 officers have different ways to deceive the department.
NHA didn’t start the said inquiry on his own but was forced to undergo this due to the objection raised by the external auditor aat Para no 4.4.52 pertaining to NHA’s General Manager Administration in 2016-17.
The subject of the raised objection is “Unjustified absorption of deputation staff”.
On which public accounts committee sought reply from NHA.
The objection para stated that according to the judgement by honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan in circular O.P 89/2011 dated 12.06.2013, absorption of any government servant in any organization without competitive process is illegal. While audit noted that three officers opted to join NHA whereas they were on their deputation in NHA. The authority accepted their request and inducted them into NHA.
The para suggested that the authority violated orders of the apex court.
NHA took the stance that the officers were inducted into regular establishment as per rules and regulations of the authority moreover their appointment was approved by the competent authorities.
Furthermore, executive board ordered a fact finding inquiry for the officer on deputation and their inductions in NHA.
The initial report and recommendations of this inquiry committee were referred to Communication Ministry, requesting to seek advice from Establishment Division.
Meanwhile during the scrutiny of documents, it was revealed that 16 officials and officers who joined NHA on deputation, were inducted in NHA illegally.
To save the skin of national culprits, another afresh inquiry committee was formed. Zahid Zaman Lak who was also on his deputation in NHA, had been made chairman of the newly formed inquiry committee. Due to repatriation of Mr. Zaman from NHA, the secretary NHA Mr. Saeed Ahmed Malik had been given mandate to clean the dirt as he had done nothing till date. While he was appointed the chairman of the de novo inquiry committee on 13-12-2018.
The said audit para yet to be resolved in accordance with the judgment of Supreme Court of Pakistan and the pointed 16 officers and officials are enjoying the national exchequer. But Murad Saeed says NHA is progressing with honestly.