ISLAMABAD - Accountant General of Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) has refused to release the pay of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Support Project (CPECSP)’s staff, saying that the salaries do not match the government’s standard pay structure.

The AGPR has raised questions regarding the pay structure of the CPEC support project’s employees and that their salaries is not being paid for the last five months, official sources told The Nation here on Sunday.

According the AGPR the salaries of the CPECSP do not match the standard pay structure of the government.

The CPEC Support Project’s staff works in the CPEC Secretariat and coordinates between various ministries.

The secretariat was established in August 2013 as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Chinese and Pakistani authorities.

According the detail, earlier the AGPR raised questions over the pay structure of the employees of the CPEC support project however the ministry ensured that they will address the issue.

In October last year, five new appointments were made to the project and their salaries was fixed as approved by the CDWP in the project’s PC-I.

After the new hiring, the AGPR has stopped the salaries of all the employees working in the project, the source said.

The pay of newly-appointed five people, three of them deputy directors, is also not being paid, the source said.

Currently three deputy directors including Deputy Director CPEC, deputy director (event), deputy director (media), an accountant, web manager, graphic designer, administrative officer and some other supporting staff are working in the project.

While the energy analyst and other position will be filled shortly.

The acting Project Director (PD) of the CPEC Support Project, Hassan Daud, is also not getting his salary, the source maintained.

The post of the Project Director CPEC is lying vacant for the past several months, after the PD was removed following the government’s refusal to extend his tenure.

As per the AGPR objection, there are three deputy directors working who were hired for the project but their salaries do not match even each other.

One of the deputy directors is getting quarter a million in package, while the two others are getting less than Rs150,000.

Besides their salaries also do not match the standard pay structure, the source added. 

The revised CPEC support project was approved by the CDWP in April 2015 with the estimated cost of Rs409 million.

Main objective of the project is to establish and strengthen the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Secretariat in the Ministry of Planning Development and Reform, Islamabad for overall coordination and implementation of the CPEC projects/activities in collaboration with the concerned line ministries.

The project will facilitate, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the programme and projects under line ministries, provide a much-needed platform for multi-sector coordination and a consultative, informed approach to trade and transport reforms and policy formulation.

Enhance capacity and provide policy and governance advice to support Government of Pakistan’s transport and energy infrastructure modernisation agenda in the context of regional connectivity.

Enable the related ministries to use innovative modes of implementing and financing projects and tap modern sources of financing.

Provide secretariat services for procurement of sector specialists for each sector - railways, roads, ports, power and trade projects and the required technical experts.

A source in the Finance Ministry has claimed that the AGPR has also written a letter to the Finance Ministry to clear the position regarding the PC-1 of the Planning Ministry’s project.

However, when contacted, an official of the Ministry of Planning said, on condition of anonymity, that jobs under the CPEC support project were not permanent and no talented person would be ready to join the project on the standard pay package.

The project employees do not enjoy other benefits allowed to the permanent government employees, therefore they are being paid a little extra monitory benefit, the official said.

“You have to pay some incentives to bring talented people to such projects,” the official said.

Besides, the salaries are as per the approved PC-I of the project, he added.

The official further said that dozens of such projects were being executed across various ministries and the people were getting the same packages.

The AGPR decision is badly affecting the families of the poor employees of the project.

AGPR refuses to release salaries of CPEC support staff