ISLAMABAD - The Federal Service Tribunal while giving its verdict in favour of hundreds of Superintendents has directed the federal government to provide full perks and privileges of grade 17 to these employees.

About 300-400 Superintendents working with different ministries and divisions of the federal government have approached the Federal Service Tribunal after the PML(N) government failed in fulfilling its commitment announced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in its budget speech of 2014-15.

The federal government is lagging behind the provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as both have already provided all the facilities to the upgraded grade 17 superintendents.

The decision of the finance ministry of not allowing the Superintendents to use the benefits of grade 17, was challenged in FST. In the appeal Nos 102-110(R) CS/2015 filed by Muhammad Israil, Ministry of Planning and 8 others; the Federal Service Tribunal issued its decision in favour of the superintendents.

The FST has set aside conditions (ii) & (iii) contained in the Finance Division’s O.M. No. F.1 (3) R-1/2010/2014, dated 10.09.2014. The decision further said that “the appellants are held to be entitled to all benefits of BPS-17 including Perks/Privileges, Pre-Mature Increment, Rental Ceiling/House Rent Allowance and Medical Allowance etc with effect from 10-09-2014, the date when the O.M. was passed,”.

Giving the background, the official said that the federal government has backtracked from its earlier announcement of upgrading the post of superintendent to basic pay scale (BPS) 17 and has only sanctioned higher time scales to superintendents, denying them benefits of higher house rent and medical allowance.

In his budget speech of 2014, the Finance Minister had announced that the post of superintendent is being upgraded from Grade-16 to Grade-17. After initial dilly-dallying, the government finally issued a notification and instead of upgrading the post to BPS-17, the government only granted higher time scales to the existing lot of the superintendents while making even this reduced facility conditional for the future.

The notification reads that the facility of higher time scale is only one-time for the incumbent superintendents, while in future minimum three years’ satisfactory service as superintendent in BPS-16 will be required for promotion in BPS-17.

Furthermore, the incumbent beneficiaries will only be entitled to the salaries of BPS-17 and there will be no change in the entitlement of rental ceiling, house rent allowance and medical allowance.

According to the superintendents, the notification was a clear deviation from the commitment, made by the finance minister, as the government did not upgrade the post.

According to the revised pay scales, a superintendent in grade 16 is entitled to an average Rs14,000 monthly house requisition, while for civil servant working in Grade 17 is getting an allowance that is fixed at over Rs19,000. Similarly, the grade 16 employee is availing about Rs1,800 monthly medical allowance which is over Rs2,000 for a grade 17 officer.

The delay on the part of the finance ministry to implement the decision of FST is causing anxiety among 100s of employees of the federal government, the official said.