ISLAMABAD, Feb 13: Though Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry belongs to the federal capital, he has failed to address a number of issues under his ministry, especially that of the employees of the health and education sectors.
The employees of the cardiac and bone marrow transplant centres at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) have not only been working without salaries for long but they are now being informed that their contracts cannot be extended.
Similarly, daily-wage employees in educational institutions have not been paid salaries for seven months.
When contacted, Dr Chaudhry said the issues can only be addressed by the prime minister.
He said he had been making efforts to address the issues as he was aware that most of them belonged to his constituency.
“I know that the services at the cardiac centre and BMTC will be stopped if the staff members are directed to leave. I have been trying to address the issue and also making efforts to release the salaries to daily wage teachers and other staff,” he said.
MNA Asad Umar of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf said the minister for CADD seemed least interested in addressing the issues of the local residents.
“I know that teachers and doctors can use their influence against Dr Chaudhry and suggest people not to vote to the PML-N during the upcoming elections but it is strange that he is not bothered about it.”
The MNA said he had raised voice for the issues of doctors and teachers in parliament and also participated in their sit-ins.
“I will continue raising voice for them,” he added.
Work on the cardiac centre started in 2005 and was supposed to be completed in 14 months.
However, it took 10 years for the completion of the centre.
The staff was appointed through the PC-I and continued getting salaries till the completion of the project in 2015.
Later, the hospital management requested them to continue working without salaries promising that after regularisation of their services the dues would be paid to them.
But the employees, including five doctors and four paramedics, have not been paid so far.
The bone marrow transplant centre was constructed under the Pakistan-Italy Swap Debt Agreement under which Islamabad had to pay back the loan.
But Italy converted the loan into a grant. So in 2008, work was started on the project and Italy not only trained Pakistani doctors and staff but also spent the amount on transplants at the centre.
Since 2015 when the project sponsored by Italy ended, the staff has not been paid.
Similarly, during the tenure of the PPP, the regularisation of daily wage teachers and other staff of educational institutions started.
A number of teachers were regularised but the process was stopped when the PML-N came to power. During the current financial year, salaries of daily wage employees have not been paid.
They have been running from pillar to post and protesting to the get salaries and regularised.
A doctor of Pims, requesting not to be quoted, said the government servants and deserving people got free treatment at the cardiac centre.
“Similarly, the BMTC has done around 150 transplants since 2009. Even last week two transplants were done on a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. But the staff has been deprived of their salaries.
“Around Rs2.5 million are required to carry out a transplant from a private hospital but at the Pims centre it is done for only Rs400,000,” he said.
Similarly, teachers are holding protests for their salaries and regularisation but the minister has not taken any concrete step to address the issue, he said.
Published by Daily Dawn on Feb 13, 2018