KOHAT: The bureaucratic bottlenecks have resulted in delay in the implementation of the minimum wage policy announced by the government two years back.

District social welfare officer Jaffar Khan told Dawn on Monday that at present the minimum wage in all the government offices was Rs11,000 as against the notification issued in the last budget by the government fixing the minimum salary at Rs15,000.

He said that the departmental heads were responsible to pay workers according to the government announcement, but regretted that poor workers, especially those working in the private sector were paid meager salaries.

Jaffar Khan said that he had written letters about the issue to the chief secretary but bureaucratic bottlenecks came in the way of implementing the minimum wage law.

NGOS AFFAIRS: The official said that the NGOs received millions of rupees every year for carrying out projects, but they never submitted the manual about the implementation of the projects to the social welfare department.

He said that two NGOs got approved the same project for Rs10 million each, distributing the whole amount between them, and failing to reply to various reminders in that regard.

The social welfare official said that it was responsibility of the media to highlight such issues.

Meanwhile, a senior official confided to Dawn that the deputy commissioners were the relevant authorities to take legal action against the NGOs.

He said that the NGOs in Kohat received about Rs500 million every year but the people were without the facilities of water, health and education.

The official said that there were some influential people having connections in Islamabad and abroad whose plans were immediately accepted by the relevant authorities. He said that if any official dared unmask irregularities in the NGOs’ spending, he was threatened with transfer and given a shut up call.

PILLION RIDING BANNED: The district administration on Monday banned pillion-riding during the four-day anti-polio campaign for the security of the workers.

Issuing the section 144 banning the pillion riding, the deputy commissioner, Kamran Afridi, also directed that those refusing to participate in the vaccination campaign would be sent to prison.

Meanwhile, district police officer Mohammad Shoeb Ashraf said that over 640 policemen had been assigned to provide security to the polio workers.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2015

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