SIALKOT-As many as 101 posts of Assistant Education Officers (AEOs) and 2,478 posts of teachers have been lying vacant since long in the district, which has adversely affected working of the education department.

According to officials of the Sialkot education department, more than 2,478 seats of both male and female teachers have also been lying vacant for the past one decade in government primary and elementary schools in the district’s all the four Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils. The shortage of teaching staff has been affecting education of the students from fifth and eighth grade and has overburdened the existing teaching staff beyond their capacity.

When contacted, the EDO (Education) Sialkot Muhammad Farooq said that the Sialkot education department has started the process of the recruitment of the AEOs and the teachers. He said that 101 AEOs and 2,478 male and female teachers would be recruited by the end of December 2016.

The social and religious circles of the district have urged the Punjab government to pay heed to the alarming situation and ensure timely recruitment to save future of the students.

DELAY IN TAX REFUNDS

The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has expressed grave concerns over the inordinate delay in the payments of the duty drawback and tax refunds claims to the Sialkot exporters by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

It said that the national exports were declining due to the lack of business-friendly trade policies in Pakistan. SCCI President Majid Raza Bhutta said that the inordinate delay in the payments was irking the Sialkot exporters and creating hurdles in the promotion of exports. He was addressing a joint meeting of main trade bodies held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

The SCCI president said that the non-payment of these refunds claims of the exporters by the FBR was posing serious threats to the Sialkot industries. He protested the sluggish aptitude of the government departments towards the Sialkot exporters and industries.

He demanded some trade and export-related incentives for Sialkot industries and hurdle-free measures by the government for the promotion of exports. He said that unsatisfactory law and order situation in Pakistan, prevailing political unrest, unending energy crisis, inflated utility bills and levy of the heavy taxes by the federal and provincial governments have already put the national industrial sector in the hot waters.