AGP defers pension cases of two senior PAAS officers

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ISLAMABAD: Incumbent Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) Javaid Jehangir has deferred the pension cases of two grade-22 officers of Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service (PA&AS).

Sources told that the AGP is not clearing the files of the officials despite the fact that they got the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from every department.

Sharifullah Wazir, one of these officials, had earlier retired from service on September 15, 2018, while Karamat Bukhari is due to retire on October 15, 2018.

Sources told that the incumbent AGP has a ‘personal grudge’ against both these officials on a number of issues which is why their cases are pending.

AGP Jehangir is junior to Bukhari in service but the latter was chosen for the post of AGP in the PML-N government due to his alleged affiliation with the high-ups.

Earlier, former finance minister Ishaq Dar had appointed Asad Amin while the PPP government chose Buland Akhtar Rana as its AGP.

PENSION PROCEDURE:

Normally, the procedure of pension starts six months before the officer’s retirement and during the time, different departments including housing, cabinet division, library and others issue NOCs to the officer, confirming that there is no receivable due after which the admin wing of the department prepares the pension case with the involvement of audit DG. The case is then presented to head of the department for approval.

In these cases, the AGP has deferred the decision without any reason. An official, on the condition of anonymity, said that the AGP and his subordinate offices give the pension to retired officials, however, the department was yet to approve the matter.

The Supreme Court has also given a verdict to give pensions to government officials soon after their retirement and if any department, including the Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR), does not give the pension then they will commit contempt of court.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance had also taken up the matter of pending cases during August last year and directed to give the pensions to the deserving officials.

Presently, the government is giving pension to grade-17 and above through direct credit system (DCS) owing to the ghost pensioners in the country.

The pensioners are largely dissatisfied with their parent departments as well as with banks as no special counters have been formed while the senior citizens are made to wait for their well-earned funds.

Officials told this scribe that the finance ministry had recommended the formation of a pensioner welfare office to facilitate and guide pensioners and to deal with their complaints and address their grievances, however, the last government paid little heed. “If the government establishes any pension ombudsmen then millions of pensioner can get solace after the retirement,” officials added.

Responding to the matter, the AGP spokesperson said the cases are not stopped normally, adding that there may have been some recovery issues in these cases which is why they are pending and undecided.