LAHORE - A committee has recommended special allowance of 50pc of running basic pay to officials working in Civil Secretariat equal to that of the employees of Chief Minister Office (CMO) and Governor House.

After the nod of the CMO, the Secretariat officers will also get allowances on their running basic pay scales. The total financial implication to the exchequer would be about Rs914 million per annum. The Punjab government had frozen the special allowance on the BPS 2008.

After the CMO and the governor house employees were given 50 pc of running basic pay as special allowance a couple of weeks ago, there was a deep sense of deprivation among the officials of Civil Secretariat.

Noting the severity of the situation, the finance department had moved a summary to the CMO to award the similar allowances to the Civil Secretariat officials.

The CM Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif instead of approving the summary had constituted a committee to ponder upon the proposed allowances and forward recommendations to his office.

The committee under Finance Minister Dr Aysha Ghous Pasha met to take up the concerns raised by the officials of Civil Secretariat. The committee comprised additional chief secretary and secretaries.

The finance minister had also sought details of the allowances being given to officials 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 vacation.

Moreover, the committee also looked into the gross salary packages and the allowances being given to the officials of three secretariats – Civil Secretariat, CMO and 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 by the finance department through the Chief Secretary Office 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 raised their concerns with Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed and the finance secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sh. Both couldn’t assure them of the approval from the CMO.