LAHORE – The National Fertilizer Marketing Limited, a subsidiary of National Fertilizer Corporation, working under the Federal Ministry of Industries, has terminated at least its 60 employees to fill the posts on political grounds.

Official sources in the marketing wing of NFC told The Nation that about 60 officials working on contract mainly in marketing department had been dismissed in Sept, 2012 without any reason just to vacate seats and refill them ton political grounds ahead of general elections in the country to woo voters of specific constituencies.

In the following period of Oct and Nov, almost all seats were refilled through political appointments. They said the officials who were dismissed from service, had not completed their contract tenure of one year but they were fired through a notification, saying ‘your services are no more required’. A senior official of the NFML, on the condition of anonymity, stated that almost all 60 officials were fired, by serving a single notification, which is completely illegal and against services rules. “They can approach the court and can easily be reinstated but it requires a long time as well as huge expanses, which a common man cannot afford,” he added.

He said that apparently all rehiring process was foolproof and strictly on merit but actually the whole newly-appointed staff was inducted on political recommendations from Gujrat. The management has no power to induct even a peon on daily wages and all appointments were politically motivated.

He said that the NFML is already over-staffed. So, as per rules, new recruitments were not possible without firing scores of persons serving the federal ministry’s department.

He said that immediate after removal of about 60 people, the ministry of industries, following rules and regulations, gave an advertisement in some unknown newspapers, having limited circulation, for recruitment and this process has almost completed now, he added. 

When The Nation approached NFML marketing head Uzer Abu Bakr, he said that he has no idea about firing or rehiring of the staff, as his section has no concern with this issue. Hassan, the newly-appointed assistant media manager of NFML PR department, refused to talk on the issue, saying that he is not authorised to give any statement in this regard. When contacted, Ashar Abbas, senior manager, admin department, also showed his lack of awareness on new recruitments in NFC.

It is to be noted that NFML is a marketing wing of the NFC, which distributes imported urea in Pakistan through its wide network of dealers in the country, working in coordination with Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP). The objective is to import urea to overcome the shortage often prevails in the country and provides commodity to farmers at subsidised rates.

The entire marketing and distribution operation of NFML is carried out by lifting urea being imported by TCP  from Gwadar, Karachi and Bin Qasim Ports. This imported urea is then distributed to the provinces as per their share through countrywide network from where this is provided to farming community through authorised dealers. Recently, the department has expanded operations to provinces of Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.