Excess staff hired by CDA causes loss to exchequer


ISLAMABAD: Throwing the settled practices and procedures to wind, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) through the deployment of the staff in excess of the sanctioned strength causing loss of Rs 73 million to the public exchequer, according to documents.

According to Central Public Works Department Code, the law that governs the deployment of the regular staff in the civic agency, the engagement of work charged establishment shall be subject to the rules laid down by the government. The work-charged staff shall not be engaged on any work unless provided for in the estimate as a separate subhead of the estimate for that work.

It is pertinent to mention here that the muster roll employees and daily labourer as their name denotes are meant for casual labour to be engaged as per requirement. According to the documents, certain posts of different categories and trades from BPS-1 to BPS-17 were sanctioned and allocation made in the budget.

However, appointments in excess of the sanctioned posts without the approval of the competent authority caused disbursement of excess salaries of Rs 66 million. When pointed out, the civic agency replied that due to the expansion of Islamabad and construction of new sectors, locations, major roads, service roads, avenues, roundabouts, green belts and VVIP routes, the Environment Wing suffered from a paucity of the employees and had to increase its strength.

In the Environment Wing, the posts were filled more than the sanctioned strength, the overall picture of the civic agency paints a different picture. With around 5,000 posts vacant in its different directorates, the CDA marches on with its stop-gap arrangements, officers on deputations and giving multiple charges to its officers and staff. The severe paucity of the employees not only adversely affects the functioning of the civic agency but also makes the position of contract employees risky.

According to sources at the HR Department, against the total sanctioned strength of 19,453 employees, at present, a total of 14,410 employees are presently working in CDA. Interestingly, 351 of the vacant positions include the Grade 17, 18, 19, 20 posts. The grade wise break up of these posts is; 11 posts of G-20, 58 posts of G-19, 16 posts of G-18, and 266 of G-266.

Further down the line, the number of vacant posts skyrockets as 293 posts of G-14, 122 of G-2, 2262 of Grade-I, 312 of G-7, 476 of G-5 and thousands of other posts in its 70 directorates lie vacant. It is pertinent to mention here that the top echelon of CDA is plagued by ad-hocism. The last chairman, Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz, was given acting charge by then prime minister.

The mayor held the post of the CDA chairman for 13 months until Justice Athar Minallah de-seated him on a petition filed in 2016. On the non-gazetted jobs, the stop-gap arrangements, hiring daily wages employees in place of the permanent employees, holds sway at lower clerical and menial jobs.