–PLRA board meeting fails to approve staff regularization and increments in salary
–PLRA employees protest again non-regularization of services
LAHORE: Despite repeated promises, proposals for regularization of staff were not approved by the Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA) while PLRA employees from across Punjab went on a strike, Pakistan Today learnt here on Wednesday.
Reliable sources informed Pakistan Today that a 16-point agenda presented by Director General (DG) PLRA Hafiz Shaukat Ali was discussed at the board meeting which was presided by PLRA Chairman Sardar Ahmed Ali Khan Dirishik.
Sources added that the board approved proposals such as the establishment of Fard issuing centers in different embassies to facilitate overseas Pakistanis, the approval of executive allowances for officials working on deputation, approval of 1135 new vacancies for the 115 new Arazi Record Centers (ARC) and approval of new appointments to the 714 vacant positions of Service Center Officials (SCO), but did not discuss the case of regularization and service structure.
A PLRA official seeking anonymity said, “There has been no increment in salaries for the past three years and most employees are working on contracts which are about to expire,” adding that all issues were expected to be resolved by the board, which the chief minister had recently formed.
The official further added, “The PLRA chairman is not interested in the staff’s welfare. The chairman and the Punjab Minister for Revenue Col (r) Anwar want the Patwari system to be reintroduced.”
“Both the chairman and the provincial minister are reported to have assured patwaris that the old way of doing things was about to return,” he added.
An employee working on ARC said, “We are doing a very important job of keeping, maintaining and updating land records. In Board of Revenue (BOR) this task is assigned to a Patwari who has the lowest grade but is always appointed on permanent basis because of the sensitivity of the work. This issue demands the immediate attention of higher authorities.”
“Despite having worked here for the past three years there has been no increase in our salaries and no contract employee is being regularized. There is job insecurity among employees especially those working on ARCs,” an SCO seeking anonymity said.
While speaking to Pakistan Today, the official spokesperson of PLRA, Nadia Ahmed confirmed reports of a strike and said, “Previously strikes were observed by the staff of district offices or ARCs but this time the headquarter staff is also out in protest because the issue of regularization and contracts restructuring has been pending for a long time and is still unresolved.”
PLRA DG Hafiz Shaukat Ali, however, told this scribe that the issue is close to being solved, “A committee will present its recommendations in the next board meeting which would hopefully lead to a successful resolution of the problem.”