PM imposes ban on allotment of govt accommodations to ex-bureaucrats

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has imposed a ban on the allotment of government accommodations to retired bureaucrats and ordered to get back such accommodations which are under the occupation of re-employed bureaucrats, it has been reliably learned.

Documents and a copy of a notification issued by the Ministry of Housing and Works available with Pakistan Today, disclosed that the prime minister had put an embargo on the allotment of government accommodations to those government servants who have been re-employed on contract after superannuation against any position in a government organisation, attached department or autonomous body i.e. Federal Ombudsman Secretariat, Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and others.

“Provided that no federal government servant who has been re-employed after superannuation on contract against any position in any government organisation, attached or autonomous body shall be eligible for allotment or retention of government’s accommodation,” said a notification issued by the Ministry of Housing and Works.

On receiving PM Abbasi’s order regarding imposition of ban on allotment of government accommodations to retired bureaucrats re-employed on contract, the housing ministry had issued a notification of amendment in Accommodation Allocation Rules 2002 and advised to get back government accommodations from all retired bureaucrats, including former Cabinet Division secretary Nadeem Hassan Asif,  former Motorways Inspector General (IG) Zulfiqar Cheema, former Ministry of Information Technology secretary Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar and others.

“The federal government is pleased to direct that government servants re-employed on contract after superannuation against any position in a government organisation, attached departments or autonomous body and in possession of federal government accommodation from the Estate Office shall vacate the accommodation within three months from the date of promulgation of amended rule 3(4) in Accommodation Allocation Rules, 2002,” said the notification of the housing ministry.

It is relevant to mention here that Estate Office had issued notices to the re-employed bureaucrats to vacate the government accommodations till March 14, while the government was likely to announce a comprehensive policy to meet the shortage of government accommodations in the federal capital. Further, federal government servants re-employed after superannuation on contract against any position in any government organisation were receiving around Rs 400,000 to 500,000 in a month as average salary. These bureaucrats had the facility to rent out accommodations anywhere in the capital but they refused to vacate the government accommodations. Some retired bureaucrats have also constructed their own apartments/flats in different sectors of the capital on the plots they received from the government. But these officers had rented out their personal properties on a monthly basis and decided to extend their stay in the official accommodations even after getting retired. As a result, most serving bureaucrats have been kept deprived of getting government accommodations on merit.

Former PM Nawaz Sharif had earlier appointed his favourite bureaucrats on lucrative slots with attractive salary packages, perks and privileges in various government organisations/departments, including, FPSC, National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC), Federal Service Tribunal, Bureau of Statistics, Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) and others.

The housing ministry, while taking cognisance of the shortage of accommodations in the federal capital, had asked PM Abbasi to put a complete ban on allotment of government accommodations to retired bureaucrats and get back such accommodations which were under the occupation of re-employed bureaucrats. These bureaucrats have continued the occupation of government accommodations in posh areas (sectors F-6, 7, 8 and G-6) of the federal capital under the provision of an old policy. However, the housing ministry had recently forwarded a summary to the prime minister, seeking changes in the entitlement of re-employed bureaucrats to occupy official accommodations.

The Ministry of Housing and Works, in its summary, had tried to remove the gap regarding the entitlement of government accommodations and also advocated that re-employed bureaucrats were not entitled to continue the occupation of official residences. The summary said there was a dire need to immediately change the accommodation policy for all retired bureaucrats who got the opportunity of re-employment in the federal departments. The ministry had also sought the premier’s permission to get back the government accommodations from re-employed bureaucrats.

Available list of bureaucrats who have been re-employed in different federal departments and were continuing their illegal occupation of government accommodations included the names of influential bureaucrats who earlier got government accommodations per their entitlement and later continued their occupation despite retiring from service.

According to the list of retired bureaucrats, Ahmad Awais Pirzada was re-employed for three years as Competition Appellate Tribunal Member and was occupying House 126, type category-I, sector F-6, Islamabad, since March 3, 2010.

Similarly, Syed Rafiq Hussain Shah, Federal Public Service Commission Member was re-employed and continued the occupation of House 90, type CAT-II, Sector F-6/3, Islamabad, from December 23, 2014.

Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar, FPSC Member was re-employed and continued occupying House 52, CAT-I, Sector F-6/3, Islamabad since April 19, 2014.

Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema, NAVTEC Executive Officer was re-employed and occupied House 69, CAT-I, Sector F-6/3, Islamabad.

Agha Nadeem, Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat Advisor was re-employed and occupied house 75, CAT-II, F-6/3, Islamabad, from October 2, 2013, to date.

Asif Bajwa, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Chief Statistician was re-employed and continued the occupation of House 6, CAT-APO, Sector F-7/2, Islamabad from October 20, 1997, to date.

Abdul Khaliq, National Assembly Secretariat Deputy Secretary occupied House 9, CAT-G, sector, G-6/3, Islamabad, till date. Last but not the least, Director Finance Najeeb Ullah Khan was re-employed and he continued the occupation of House 29-A, CAT-APO, Sector F-8/1, Islamabad, till date.