Workers Welfare Fund’s DG, two officers removed from service after corruption, embezzling funds

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OPHRD) has removed their Director General (DG) and two officers of the Workers Welfare Fund (WWF), additionally issuing job termination notifications that declare their appointment as ‘illegal and void ab initio’, it was learnt reliably.

Interestingly, the officers hailing from different departments had earlier got appointments in WWF on deputation basis and later on succeeded in getting the absorption in WWF to make use of worthy perks and privileges. Similarly, these officers who had worked with WWF for almost seven long years, allegedly got their children admitted in private medical colleges for which the fees were paid illegally with WWF’s funds designated to be used for the welfare of industrial labour and their children.

Although the appointment of these officers has been declared ‘illegal from the first day, higher-ups at the WWF have granted them permission to leave the department instead of taking any action against them.

Copies of the OPHRD’s orders available with Pakistan Today revealed that appointments/absorption of a grade 20 officer, WWF DG Abdul Hameed Jumani, Director Syed Muhammad Nauman Shah a grade 19 officer and a grade 17 officer Muhammad Zubair Malik have been declared invalid from the first day of their appointment.

Sources in the OPHRD said that though the matter of illegal appointments was pointed out by a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) WWF director, the WWF secretary did not take action against the above-mentioned officers who bagged these positions and enjoyed the all the perks and privileges for seven long years.

They said that OPHRD federal secretary Hashim Popalzai and the Establishment Division secretary had earlier conducted an inquiry into illegal appointments in WWF under the WWF (Employees) Service Rules, 1997.

“Due to inaction over the illegal appointments on senior slots of WWF by Qasim Samad Khan, Secretary WWF, two secretaries have done an inquiry against them,” said the sources.

Copies of the orders also disclosed that Abdul Hammed Jumani was appointed as health director on 25-06-2010 and was promoted to the post of director general (BS-20) on 31-05-2013 after completing only two years and eleven months of service in BS-19 against the required service of five years. “Within the span of three years, ten months and twenty-two days he jumped from BS-17 to BS-20 which cast a doubt on his appointment on deputation, subsequent recruitment and promotion in WWF,” said the order.

“In view of the violations in the recruitment of Abdul Hameed Jumani, Secretary Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development in the capacity of Chairman Governing Body of WWF, being authority in terms of rule 11(2) of WWF (Employees) Service Rules, 1997, found his appointment as Director (Health) BS-19 void ab initio and his subsequent promotion to BS-20 illegal under law and ordered to be discharged from service of WWF with immediate effect to report to his parent department i-e Health Department, Government of Sindh,” the order stated.

The order further added that in light of the facts, Abdul Hameed Jumani WWF DG BS-20 is hereby discharged from service of WWF with immediate effect.

Similarly, National Assembly Editor (BS-17) Syed Muhammad Nauman Shah was transferred and posted as a section officer in the Housing and Works Ministry on deputation basis and from there he managed his transfer to WWF on a higher post i.e. director (BS-19) on deputation basis. And after a short period of five months, he got himself absorbed in WWF on 17-01-2013 even though he was not qualified for his initial appointment as a director.

“Therefore, Human Resource Development Ministry’s order No. 9-2-2011-HRD-1 dated 17-01-2013 regarding the appointment of Syed Nauman Shah as Director (BS-19) on absorption basis is declared void ab initio and Syed Muhammad Nauman is repatriated to his parent department with immediate effect,” the order further read.

Assistant Director, Muhammad Zubair Malik was appointed as Deputy Manager (equivalent to BS-17) in the Overseas Employment Corporation on 21-01-2007. He was transferred and posted as assistant director (BS-17) on deputation basis on 10-08-2012. He was then appointed on deputation in WWF and was absorbed purportedly against a vacant post of assistant director meant for the initial appointment.

The order regarding his employment states: “Therefore, Ministry of Human Resource Development’s order No.01-2(69)2012 dated 13-03-2013regarding appointment of Muhammad Zubair Malik as Assistant Director (BS-17) on absorption basis in WWF is declared illegal and void ab initio and his services are repatriated to his parent department i-e Overseas Employment Corporation, Islamabad with immediate effect.”

The sources further added that due to the alleged involvement of top WWF officers in corruption, projects of education, health etc. sectors being run by WWF in all four provinces of the country have been affected while workers are deprived of relief and school children are complaining against a shortage of books and relevant materials.

“It is agonizing that senior officers at WWF who have done corruption and looted workers funds for personal benefits were allowed to report to parent departments without any action against them,” they lamented.

It is worth mentioning here that the WWF was established under Workers Welfare Fund Ordinance, 1971 for providing low-cost housing and other amenities to industrial labour. An initial contribution of Rs 100 million was made by the federal government and further resources were to be raised by the private sector.

The main objective of WWF is to finance the projects for establishing housing estates and construction of houses for industrial workers, while other measures for the welfare of workers include education (free of cost up to secondary level), scholarships (post-secondary level), marriage grants, death grants etc.

Similarly, the vision of WWF is an enlightened and economically self-reliant worker contributing towards the progress and prosperity of the nation; its mission is to enhance responsiveness and pro-activeness of WWF for the welfare of workers.