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Ambiguous housing policy causes confusion
05-18-2009, 08:05 AM
Post: #1
Ambiguous housing policy causes confusion
Monday, May 18, 2009

THE implementation of the recently amended Allotment Policy of the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) has become an issue for the department as it is silent about allotment of official residences to those entitled to it.

According to the Allotment Policy amended in January 2009, those re-employed would not be entitled to the allotment of an official residence. The policy, however, does not say anything about reemployed officials whose terms and conditions of appointment allow them to have an official residence.

The flaw has put the department in an embarrassing situation as under the amended Allotment Policy 2009 those officials whose reemployment terms and conditions allow using an official residence have also been served with notices to vacate their residences.

Keeping in view the hurdles in implementation of the said policy, the S&GAD will soon move a summary to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif seeking revision in terms and conditions of those reemployed officials who are entitled to the allotment or retention of an official accommodation.

The prominent among those served with notices include Government College University (GCU) vice chancellor Dr Khalid Aftab and Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) chairman Yousaf Kamal.

Dr Khalid Aftab had even been served with “Legal Ejectment Notice” according to which he is directed to vacate his GOR-I residence.

The notice served on March 21, 2009 reads: “Now, therefore, I, Manzoor Ahmad, Special Judicial Magistrate, Punjab Civil Secretariat, Lahore in exercise of the powers conferred on me vide Notification No.WG-3-50/60, dated August 20, 1966 and No. SO (Admin-II) 1-1/2006 dated April 22, 2006 serve upon you with this notice under Section 5 of the above said ordinance to vacate the above mentioned government residence within a period of fourteen days from the receipt of this notice failing which possession of the same will be recovered from you by using such police force as may be necessary.

Interestingly, neither the VC vacated the residence nor did the government take any action.

Similarly, the notice served on Yousaf Kamal stated: “The competent authority has considered your request and observed that no reemployed person is entitled to the allotment or retention of an official accommodation beyond the permissible retention period allowed on retirement/ superannuation period in para 34 of the Allotment Policy of S&GAD 1997 and amended up to January 19, 2009. “In view of the foregoing you are directed to vacate House No 16-4, Golf Road, GOR-I Lahore within 14 days positively otherwise ejectment proceedings will be initiated against you as per law,” the notice said.

According to the sources in the S&GAD, the department wanted to move the summary since it was finding it impossible to implement the amended policy on retired bureaucrats and high ranking officers reemployed on various occasions.

An official seeking anonymity Said when it had been decided that the reemployed persons would not be entitled to official accommodation the same would have to be implemented. “If it could not be implemented, then why such officials were served with notices,” he remarked.

When contacted, Additional Chief Secretary Javed Aslam admitted that the notices were served in haste. He said the policy was not clear whether those reemployed before implementation of the amended policy entitled to official accommodation should be asked to vacate their residences or not. He said terms and conditions of GCU vice chancellor’s reemployment as well as those of PVTC chairman entitled both of them to official residences. He said some members of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) were also in this category.

The ACS said a summary would be sent to the CM to amend terms and conditions of those who were reemployed and were entitled to official residences.

When contacted, Yousaf Kamal said the notice was served on him as a result of a misunderstanding and the situation was rectified. Dr Khalid Aftab could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. —Khalid Khattak
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