Islamabad     -   Around 60 employees of the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP)-funded projects, being run by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, will lose their jobs in December this year as the government has decided not to extend their contracts, says an official notification.

Last time extension along with termination notices had been issued to dozens of contractual employees of one of the projects of the Ministry of Planning Development and Reform, while the contracts of employees of the other four projects were extended until December 31. Now their contracts will not be renewed.

“Upon the expiry of the extended contracts, the services of the employees of the projects shall stand terminated,” reads a letter issued by the ministry.

It is pertinent to mention here that in order to slash the PSDP spending, the PTI government, in May 2019, had closed down 12 projects of the Ministry of Planning of around Rs13 billion, including the Vision 2025 project launched by the previous government.

Talking to The Nation, an official source said that around 30 employees of the Jawaid Azfar Computer Centre (JACC) and Institutional Strengthening had been issued extension as well as termination letters. The employees of JACC whose services were terminated included one officer of grade 19, 10 officers of grade 18, five of grade 17 and seven of grade 16.

Work on JACC’s upgradation was initiated around three decades ago. Later project’s name was changed, and it duration was extended from time to time. There are more than 30 employees working on the project. The current phase of the project to cost Rs356.770 million was approved by the CDWP in 2016.

The ministry had issued extension letters to employees of the project for six months along with termination letters. The extension covered the period from June 2019 to December 2019. “Now the employees have been told to consider their services terminated after December,” the source added.

The government has failed to appoint Director General of the JACC, and is running the project under temporary arrangement by the giving the charge to the officials of the planning ministry.

The other project is of Inspector General Development Project, Balochistan (Phase-II), Quetta (IGDP) whose 16 contractual employees had been issued extension letters until 31st December. Now it has been decided that no further extension will be granted to these employees. The project, initiated in 2009, was to be completed at the cost of Rs357 million, but till June 2019 only Rs67 million were utilised. 

Around eight employees of Institutional Strengthening and Efficiency Enhancement of Planning Commission/Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform (Phase-III) were also granted extension till the end of this year. “Their contracts will also not be renewed,” added the source.

The project had been launched in 2006 and its third phase was approved by the CDWP in 2017. In all, the project is to cost Rs350 million while the total expenditures till June 2019 were Rs80 million.

There are around eight employees working on the project. The ministry had issued extension letters to the employees of the project for six months along with termination letters. The employees have now been told to consider their services terminated after December, the source added.

“The Establishment of Climate Change / Environment Section in M/o PDR, Islamabad, will also be closed down by the end of the year,” the source informed.

He said that some people had been working on the JACC project for around two decades, while others had been engaged over a decade ago. “Majority of the staff is over age now, and they are not going to get new jobs. Although the ministry has told these employees that they will be accommodated in the new projects, but for this they will have to apply afresh.

“While on one hand the government has closed too many approved projects of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, on the other it has included half a dozen unapproved projects of the ministry in the PSDP, and is releasing funds to these projects,” the source told this reporter.

An employee of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, who has been affected by the government’s latest decision, expressed surprise as to how the government would provide jobs to millions of Pakistanis when it had already shut down 16 projects of the ministry.