Govt decides to regularise contract employees

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal government has decided to regularise contract employees of all ministries and divisions, including over 12,000 of the power distribution companies (Discos) appointed during the previous tenure of the PML-N.

The government has formed a committee under the chairmanship of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain with the secretaries of the Establishment Division, finance, law, railways and power as its members. The committee has been tasked with forming a uniform policy for the regularisation of the contractual staff working in various ministries and divisions.

The officials said the Power Division had moved a summary to the cabinet in a recent meeting seeking permission to regularise 12,011 contract employees hired by Discos during the previous tenure of the PML-N government.

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However, during a discussion in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the cabinet members raised an issue of a large number of contract employees who were awaiting regularisation in many other divisions and their subordinate offices as well. Thus, the cabinet members said that a unified policy regarding regularisation of contract employees working in all ministries and divisions should be formed.

The officials said Discos were placed on the privatization list in 2014. Since then no regular recruitment had been made. However, with the expansion in the distribution network and retirement of employees, ample shortage of staff in Discos developed over time. Resultantly, the impact could be seen in customer services and response time.

The officials said there were a total of 15,261 contract employees ranging from grades 1 to 18. Over 12,011 employees had experience of more than two years. These contract employees were the backbone of the Discos providing service to the general public.

These contract employees, after putting in more than two years of service, now had a legitimate reasonable expectation for further vertical career progression.

Financial implications involved in regularisation of these 12,011 employees amounted to around Rs1.9 billion per annum.

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