ISLAMABAD - The employees of Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) voiced their disquiet over the sad state of affairs of the national literary organisation and non-payment of their salaries and hiring facility to rent out house.
Over 25 employees of the academy protested inside the organisation and conveyed their concerns to the Acting DG of the Academy, Ghayur Sultana. According to information the employees appointed in the offices of the Academy in other cities have also been agitating on non-payment of their dues.
“Half of the month has been passed and yet we have been waiting for our salaries. Hiring funds released to rent out houses have also not been released since January. The employees of sub-offices have also been protesting for non-payment of their dues but there is no one to pay heed to our issues. “ regretted one of the employees.
They informed that almost all the projects of the Academy have come to a halt and there is no literary activity at the academy. The employees alleged that ‘now no literary events are held in the academy, no books are published and the officials charge for arranging any event at the academy despite that the academy was established for arranging literary activities’.
According to information the Academy has been working without chairman and permanent Director General for more than a year and there is no one responsible to look after the affairs of the literary institution. The institution was handed over to newly established Ministry of National Heritage and Integration six months ago even after receiving many complaints from writers all over the country. The ministry has taken no step to improve the situation and this national institution is on the verge of destruction. Even the Secretary Faridullah Khan has been written letters to look into the affairs but to no avail.
According to information under a project the Academy allocate funds to support prominent writers or their widows who cannot afford to run their day to day affairs but for the last few months the families have not been released honorarium.
The spokesperson when contacted said the Academy has not been facing the financial problems only but all the organizations transferred to the new ministry have not been released funds due to administrative and procedural issues and within few days the funds would be released.
He said the employees of Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and Lok Virsa have also been going through the same problems as they have been transferred to the newly established ministry after devolution and maintaining the records and fulfill official formalities have delayed the releases.