ISLAMABAD, Oct 13: The employees of the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) office have called off plans to go on a strike before Eidul Azha after assurances by the ministry of finance and AGPR officials.
The Audit and Accounts Group employees had announced launching a major protest drive, including pen down strike, from Oct 15. The move threatened to delay payment of salaries to federal government employees before Eid.
The federal government has decided to disburse salaries of its employees on Oct 22 — days before Eidul Azha.
The announcement was made after talks between the finance ministry and a delegation of AGPR employees on Saturday.
The delegation, under the banner of Supreme Council of Audit and Accounts Group Employees had held meeting with the Additional Secretary Budget Abdul Rauf, ministry of finance on Friday.
The additional secretary assured the delegation that unified pay scales for all the employees of federal government would be finalised by end of October 2012.
The delegation was led by General Secretary Chaudhry Iftikhar, who demanded an increase of 100 per cent in salaries of AGPR employees, as it has been made in many federal government departments including the FBR.
The additional secretary told the AGPR employees that both the Finance minister Dr. Hafeez Sheikh and Secretary Finance Wajid Ali Rana were not in the country due to participation in World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting being held in Tokyo.
He said that they are expected to return on October 17 and expressed confidence that the meeting of Unified Pay scales Commission would be convened on October 19 to give final touches to recommendations.
Currently, the strength of federal government employees drawing their pay under notified government pay scales is around 295,000, but this excludes the employees of autonomous and semi autonomous institutions of the federal government.
However, there are different pay and packages for various departments of the federal government and some are even getting up to 100 per cent higher salaries than others, around 23 per cent federal government employees are getting double pay and some are even bagging three times the normal salaries as they are posted in certain departments such as the Presidency, PM secretariat etc.
It is expected that after the unification salaries in federal government the provinces would also streamline the pay and packages of their employees.
According to the data available with the finance ministry Punjab government has around 900,000 employees, Sindh 625,000, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 300,000 and Balochistan government has 91,000 employees.
The proposal before the Unified Pay scales Commission is to eliminate the distortion in pay structure of the federal ministries and divisions.