KPT chairman awards millions to ex-official ‘illegally’ | Pakistan Today

KPT chairman awards millions to ex-official ‘illegally’

Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Chairman Javed Hanif Khan reduced the 14-member Board of Directors of the Karachi Dock Labour Board (KDLB) into a rubberstamp body by awarding “illegally” over Rs 2.2 million to a retired KDLB official with a stroke of a pen.
Muhammad Safdar, who had retired as a secretary or executive officer of the KDLB after reaching the age of superannuation on March 31, 2011, appears to be beneficiary of the royal bounty shown by the KPT chairman.
“The Chairman has approved re-fixation of the pay of executive officer and payment of the difference amount of pay and allowances and pension/commutation to the officer,” reads an office order issued by the KDLB’s Personnel and Admin department on the 3rd of last month.
The sanctioned amount granted to Safdar is in excess of Rs 2.256 million, of which over Rs 1.367 million and Rs 0.888 million were paid, respectively, on account of difference of pay and allowances and difference of pension commutation. The payment was made through the payee account cheque.
It is, however, interesting to note that Safdar had already received 100 percent of his claims against pension/commutation in March 2011 when he had retired from KDLB service.
“Enclosed please find claim of 100 percent commutation of the subject employee duly sanctioned by the competent authority,” reads an earlier office order issued on June 9, 2011 by the same department of the KDLB.
Copies of the two orders, Part-II Number 48/2011 and Part-I Number 11, are available with Pakistan Today.
The KDLB secretary, who after enjoying a two-year extension has finally been sent packing from March 31 (2013) by a recent verdict of the Sindh High Court (SHC) barring his third-time extension, had then received over Rs 7.33 million against his post-retirement 100 percent claims.
The latest payment of over Rs 2.256 million Safdar has been awarded by the KPT chairman was made by the KDLB as a “difference” amount arising out of the 40 percent raise the PPP-led federal government had announced for government employees in the last two fiscal budgets.
A sitting board member of the KDLB claims that payment of the huge sum made in favor of the outgoing secretary KDLB under the head of “difference of pay and allowances of pension/commutation” was illegal.
Referring to the KDLB Act 1973, which governs the running of the Labour Board, the board member said the KPT chairman was not entitled to granting millions to any of his blue eyed boys without approval of the KDLB board.
“The board and not the chairman (KPT) is the competent authority for taking all such decisions,” he asserted adding that even the KDLB’s Administrative Body could not bypass the 14-member apex body in terms of decisions pertaining to KDLB’s affairs.
He recalled that even the Administrative Body had rejected Safdar’s demand over a couple of weeks ago.
“The KPT chairman must quote a piece of law under which he bypassed the Board and approved such a huge amount to him,” the member said.
He went on to claim that even the use of the KPT chairman’s discretionary fund was limited, under the relevant laws, to Rs 50,000 with that of secretary KDLB not more than Rs 20,000.
Moreover, a source privy to the matter claimed that Safdar was demanding some Rs 2.6 million more from KDLB as a difference amount. “The KDLB’s Chief Accountant and Audit Officer have expressed strong reservations over the fresh demand,” the source said.
Further, the outgoing secretary also has a claim over a government car that, he believes, should be given to a retired federal government employee in accordance with the relevant rules. The KPT, KDLB, Port Qasim Authority, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, Pakistan International Airline etc are federal agencies governed by the federal laws.
Rubbishing the outgoing executive officer’s claims, the KDLB board member contended that the difference was not applicable in case of Safdar who had retired much before the federal employees were given salary increase by the political government.
“He (Safdar) had retired when the salary raise took effect from July 2011,” he argued.
Despite repeated attempts, no one from KPT’s Public Relations department was available for comments.

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