LAHORE: The Punjab government has finally given nod to give special judicial and utility allowances to the civil officers posted as Members Punjab Services Tribunal (PST).

After the final approval of the CM Punjab, the allowances will be permissible to the civil servants working as members of the tribunal.

Earlier, only judicial officers, session judges were entitled to get such allowances while the civil officers and other staff including registrar were not.

Senior officers of the grade 21 are posted as members in the PST. All the officers perform judicial duties but civil servants failed to get the benefits the judicial officers got. The judicial officers receive an allowance of over Rs 100,000 per month as judicial allowance in addition to their salary, facilities and utility allowances. The civil servants only draw their BPS salaries.

“The PST administration has forwarded requests to the Punjab government to approve such allowances for the civil officers but the government delayed it for one reason or the other,” said an employee of the tribunal. The administration demanded of the government to give Rs 60,000 per month instead of Rs 100,000 per month to the civil PST members.

On this CM Punjab had constituted a special committee to resolve the matter. A meeting of special committee constituted to review the reforms in Punjab Services Tribunal met Saturday at Civil Secretariat Lahore. Additional Chief Secretary Punjab Shamail Ahmad Khawaja presided over the meeting.

It was decided at the meeting to send interim recommendations for the approval of Chief Minister Punjab regarding the provision of special judicial allowance and utility allowance to the Civil Officers assigned the duties as Members Punjab Services Tribunal (PST) and are performing judicial work in the PST. The rest of the members of PST belonging to Judiciary already enjoy this facility. The special committee has sent this recommendation keeping in view the peculiar status of Members PST.

It is pertinent here that the staff of the PST had also filed and won the case of special judicial allowance for the tribunal. The provincial government challenged the PST order in Supreme Court and succeeded getting status quo. It was still pending with the court, said sources.

Talking about the vacant seats at the tribunal, a retired PST member said, “No civil servant wanted to serve as member PST as there was severe discrimination”. He said that the assignment for both judicial as well as civil officers, both BP 21, was same but the later were deprived of their right of special allowances. No district management group officer liked to serve as the member PST, he held.

“Though, the status of the PST was equal to the provincial high court but contrary to the judiciary its employees were denied the special allowances the judiciary employees were drawing,” the member said. He lauded the Punjab government decision and said that the civil officers posted as PST members would work more diligently while disposing of cases relating to the service matters.

The government should also approve judicial allowances for the lower staff as it was paying to the lower staff of judiciary, he recommended.