Notification for 20-year retirement benefits still awaited

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LARKANA: The Services, General Administration and Coordination Department (SGA&CD), Government of Sindh, has failed to issue a notification for awarding benefits to those employees who will retire from the service after completing 20 years or above.

Such benefits are granted to those government servants who have completed a 25 years service period. The relevant Civil Servants Act, 1973, amended in 2001 specifies the length of qualifying service as 20 years instead of 25 years.

This was revealed in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Finance Department, sent by Section Officer (Reg-III) of the SGA&CD Musadique Memon. The letter said that the same matter has been thoroughly re-examined in consultation with the Law Department and their opinion is reproduced as under.

The Law Department opinion said: “This Department has re-examined the case and found that the opinion tendered by this department vide para-16/ante is fully lawful and needs no change as Section 13 (i) of the Sindh Civil Servants Act, 1973 (amended in 2001) specifies the length of qualifying service as 20 years instead of 25 years.”

It further added: “Since Rules cannot override an Act passed by the legislature rather they are required to be made or modified in consonance with the Act. It is the prime responsibility of the custodian of the relevant rules to get them modified. Even if this obligation is not fulfilled, the provision of the Act will override the unamended Rules.

Accordingly, a government employee can retire after serving 20 years as per above law. However, all relevant rules applicable in this regard need to be made consistent with the amended Sindh Civil Servants Act, 1973.  In the end, the letter said that in view of above, Finance Department is requested to take further necessary action in the matter, as advised by the Law Department.

This letter was sent on 25th October 2017 but the Finance Department has so far failed to take necessary action even after the passage of over one month which has caused unrest among those employees who will retire by the end of this year.

All Pakistan Clerks Association President Aijaz Mirani, Larkana District, said here on Monday that Finance Department considered itself over and above the law of the land which was why they were playing with the fate of aged employees despite the availability of requisite law. He said that due to the non-availability of such notification, concerned District Accounts Officers were not passing bills of the said employees which was a clear violation of the SCS Act 1973. He demanded issuance of relevant notification immediately.