LAHORE: A high-level committee has recommended the special allowance of 50pc of the running basic pay to officials working in the Civil Secretariat equal to that of the Chief Minister's Office and the Governor House employees.

The Secretariat officers will also get allowances on the BPS 2017. The total financial implication to the exchequer would be about Rs914 million per anum.

Earlier, the secretariat employees were getting 50pc of the 2008 basic pay as special allowance 2009. The Punjab government had frozen the allowance since then.

After the CMO and the governor house employees were given the 50pc of the running basic pay as the special allowance a couple of days ago, there was a deep sense of deprivation among the officers and officials of the Civil Secretariat regarding this. “Noting the severity of the situation, the finance department had moved a summary to the CMO to award the same allowances to the Civil Secretariat officials.” The CM instead of approving the summary had constituted a committee to ponder upon the proposal and forward recommendations.

The committee chaired by the Minister for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha met to discuss the issues and concerns raised by the officials of the Civil Secretariat. The committee comprised of the Finance minister, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretaries to Finance, Services, Regulations departments.

The finance minister had also sought details of the allowances being given to officers in other provinces besides other departments like the judiciary, police, prosecution etc. It was also told that the special education department employees also draw allowances while the education department teachers enjoy long summer vacations.

Moreover, the committee also looked into the gross salary packages and the allowances being given to the officials of the three secretariats, the Civil Secretariat, the CMO and the Governor House.

After detailed discussion, the chair agreed in principle to recommend the same allowances for the Civil Secretariat officials as was being given to the CMO and the Governor House employees. 

A summary would be moved to the CMO requesting the authority to approve the committee recommendations. After the CMO nod, the finance department would notify the increase in allowances.

Official sources said that the administrative secretaries and other senior officers had time and again conveyed the chief secretary Zahid Saeed and the finance secretary about the sense of discrimination developed among the officers working in the Civil Secretariat.

It was also told that officers were least interested to serve in the Civil Secretariat rather they were inclined to serve in the newly established authorities, companies, and projects that give generous salary packages to the employees. The government should rather increase the allowance to save the human resource in the provincial headquarters that was the policy-making giant.

Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary Punjab called secretaries to different departments to furnish details the apex court had sought from the Punjab government while hearing a suo moto case on potable water issues. The Punjab government had assured the court to give the details. The secretaries to Specialized Health Care Najam Shah, Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare department Ali Jan Khan, Secretary Housing Khurram Agha, MD WASA, CEO Saaf Pani Company Capt ® Usman Yunus and others. The CS Punjab Saeed will appear before the court to submit the required information, official sources in the CS Office held. They said that the secretaries briefed the CS about their policies and actions regarding potable water issues, effluent treatment plants near the industrial estates, their cost and the time period required to install them.