ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee on Thursday recommended the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas Secretariat to expedite the process of fulfilling vacant posts in education and health departments of FATA .

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla has discussed the calling attention notice moved by Senator Hidayatullah regarding pending approval of 7,500 sanctioned new posts for FATA

The Ministry of Finance informed the committee that they had agreed to finance 1,440 posts in FATA as against the request of creating 4,486 posts in health and education departments of FATA . The Fata Secretariat had initially sent a schedule of expenditure for 2,153 health sector posts and 2,329 education sector posts to the finance ministry. Against the request of 2,153 health sector posts, the finance ministry sanctioned only 616 posts. Similarly, in the education sector, the finance ministry sanctioned 824 posts.

The committee members expressed displeasure over delaying in starting the process of fulfilling vacant posts. The ministry of finance informed the committee that they had provided budget to the FATA secretariat for fulfilling the posts. The ministry would provide further budget if FATA Secretariat requires. The committee directed the FATA Secretariat to complete the process and present the report to the committee. The committee also directed the Ministry of Finance to streamline the budget allocation process for these seats and ensure swift recruitments to fill the existing job position in FATA .

The officials of the Central Directorate of National Savings briefed the committee on the Overseas Pakistanis Saving Certificates developed to target the remittances from non-banking channels. They informed that overseas Pakistanis are currently sending $20 billion remittances to the country, which could go to $50 billion if the government provides incentives to them.  The government had launched the Overseas Pakistanis Saving Certificates to attract the foreign remittances.

Such like certificates are successfully operating in Bangladesh, India, Philippine and other countries of the world. Sharing the details, they said that investment opportunities would be available in both dollar and rupee and it would be risk free product to attract investment from the expatriates and encouraging the culture of savings as well as promoting investment “First phase of the scheme will be launched in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and then it would be extended to UK and US and then other countries,” an official of the Central Directorate of National Savings said.

Meanwhile, a sub-committee of the Senate standing committee on finance showed displeasure over the performance of government’s departments for not taking action against corrupt elements, which are looting billion of rupees.

The committee under the chairmanship of Senator Mohsin Aziz has discussed the inquiries conducted by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and action taken against corrupt officials. FBR informed the committee that there were 198 corruption cases in the department since 2015. As many as 99 cases had been decided in which FBR terminated 6 officials. Meanwhile, some cases are in the courts.  They further informed that 99 per cent of the cases are filed due to internal check and balance of the department. Public complaints are lesser against tax officials. The FBR had forwarded some corruption cases to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further investigation.

Mohsin Aziz said that government’s department are not serious in taking action against corrupt officials. He further said government officials flew out of the country after making corruption. He directed the FBR to present the mega corruption scam and fake refunds cases in next meeting.

 

IMRAN ALI KUNDI