ISLAMABAD - The federal government has final­ly approved a substantial pay raise for the employees of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to facil­itate the central investigation body that deals with organized crimes.

For the past many years, FIA employees had been demand­ing a better pay package equiva­lent to the enhanced salary struc­ture of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) taking a plea that their nature of job was not differ­ent from the top anti-corruption watchdog.

According to a notification is­sued by the Ministry of Interior, President Dr Arif Alvi has sanc­tioned the grant of allowances to the FIA employees.

In December 2019, the Ministry of Interior had moved a summary to Prime Minister Imran Khan to bring pay package and allowanc­es of FIA at par with that of NAB to “boost up the morale of its em­ployees.”

The notification says that em­ployees would get 20 percent FIA allowance, 25 percent utility al­lowance and 60 percent investi­gation allowance of the running basic pay. In addition to that, the employees would also get 50 per­cent anti-organized crime allow­ance of the running basic pay.

The notification sets some condi­tions for the admissibility of these allowances. It says that 60 percent special allowance of the basic pay already granted to Immigration Wing of FIA will be discontinued. All these allowances will be admis­sible during all kinds of leave ex­cept extraordinary leave.

These allowances will be ad­missible to the employees during their tenure of posting and depu­tation abroad. All allowances will be admissible to the employees on their repatriation from post­ing/ deputation abroad. These al­lowances will be treated as part of emoluments for the purpose of deductions of income tax. The allowances will not be treated as part of emoluments for the pur­pose of calculation of pension and gratuity.

These expenditures will be in­curred from within the sanctioned budget of the Current Financial Year (2019-20) of FIA Grant.

The ministry had moved the summary in the light of the discus­sion of Director General FIA Wajid Zia during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on December 2, 2019. Zia had taken charge of his office the same day.

Zia in his first meeting, in his official capacity as DG, with the PM had put this proposal before him to which the premier agreed and asked for moving a summary through a proper channel.

“It is submitted that FIA is the prime investigation agency of the federal government which con­ducts investigations in the field of economic crime, money launder­ing, cybercrime, combating ter­rorism, human and drug traffick­ing, terror financing and organized crimes,” read the summary.

The summary said that the pay and allowances of officers of FIA were not commensurate with the job of investigation of crimes in­volving millions of rupees.

“The pay package of FIA is low as compared to other investiga­tion departments like NAB, due to which FIA is unable to attract hon­est and competent officers.” It said that there was huge disparity in the pay package of NAB and FIA.