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Inductions: BoK on the wrong side of the law

May 18, 2013

PESHAWAR, May 17: The provincial public sector Bank of Khyber has specified a quota for its employees’ children for induction as management training officers and delegated discretionary powers to its managing director to select one MTO, it is learnt.

The specification of the quota in a public sector organisation, according to legal experts, is in conflict with the country’s Constitution and the Supreme Court orders.

The court, said the experts, had declared quotas illegal - other than where the constitutional protection is available and those that are in line with international covenants and treaties.

In line with the court’s decision, quotas meant for the teachers’ children had been abolished from medical colleges across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“10 % of the total allocation of MTOs throughout Pakistan may be allocated to employees’ children only,” contains an official document with minutes of the Bank’s 42nd meeting of its management committee held on April 25, 2013.

BoK, according to its Human Resource Manual 2009, inducts ‘fresh, young and qualified university graduates in batches on regular basis.’ The trainees, as per BoK’s policy, are imparted appropriate trainings in order to enhance their professional skills and knowledge to prepare them for taking over major responsibilities in future.

The Bank, according to official sources, is in process to induct its fifth batch of MTOs.

“Thousands of applicants applied for MTO posts,” said an official of the provincial government.

The National Testing Services Limited conducted the test on March 31, 2013 and posted the results on its website.

While the tests were conducted on March 31, 2013, the Bank’s management committee took the arbitrary decision on April 25, 2013, specifying a 10 per cent quota for the employees’ children for induction as MTOs.

Four days after the management committee’s decision, the bank’s Human Resource Development Group issued a letter on April 29, 2013, to all group/divisional heads/departmental in charges; branch chief managers and managers and informed them about the specification of quota for their children, paving way for their induction as MTOs.

“In order to strengthen the belongingness of staff of the bank, the management has decided to reserve a certain quota for the children of the staff who have appeared in the MTO test conducted on March 31, 2013,” contains the bank’s letter to its employees dated April 29, 2013,

“This is discriminatory and unjust as the employees’ children quota has been specified to accommodate certain senior employees’ children after they could not secure good marks to make it to the merit determined for the candidates to be interviewed,” said an official concerned.

As per the MTO induction programme, the successful candidates are imparted a ‘comprehensive on job training for six months in different departments/branches of the bank.’

Later, based on their performance and upon successful completion of their training programme, as per the bank’s policy, MTOs are confirmed as regular employees in the officer grade-II cadre.

The additional secretary concerned of the provincial finance department, who looks after the BoK’s matters, declined to meet this correspondent a couple of days ago.

“The management committee has gone one step further, giving discretionary powers to the bank’s managing director to select one of the employees’ children as MTO,” said an official source.

“Hiring of one MTO out of employees’ quota to be placed on Managing Director discretion,” contains an official document with details of the Management Committee’s decision taken on April 25, last.

The BoK does not have a full-time managing director these days after the post fell vacant after the expiry of the last MD’s three-year service contract in early March this year.

“These arbitrary decisions have come at a time when the Bank is being headed by its executive director who has been appointed as the acting managing director,” said an official.

In deviation from the past, this time the MTOs batch, according to sources, would consist of an unusually high number of trainees. Traditionally, the MTOs batches, said an official, involved 35 to 40 trainees per batch. However, this time two batches of MTO would be inducted, involving 40 trainees each.

In this respect, the management committee’s decision says: “Two batches of the MTOs may be hired consisting of 40 MTOs in each batch simultaneously from the list of NTS results.”

However, another official requesting anonymity said the increase in MTOs’ number had been necessitated because of increase in BoK’s branches.

As per the management committee’s decision, “allocation of MTOs may be done according to branch network in each province, including new branches to be opened during 2013.”

Officials said an increased number of MTOs were being inducted this year with a view to accommodate a good number of employees’ children against their 10 per cent quota.

“The quota might not be there next year,” said an official.