ISLAMABAD: A petition filed with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) claimed that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar appointed a ‘handpicked’ civil servant as the director general (DG) of the Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) to gain an indirect control of the Rs9 trillion reserves.

After preliminary hearing, Justice Athar Minallah of the IHC issued notice to the federal government and sought comments from the respondents - the finance minister, secretaries finance, establishment division and Waqar Ahmed, a joint secretary of the finance ministry who has also been given the charge of the director general CDNS.

The petition said the CDNS investments had increased to Rs9 trillion during the financial year 2012-13. However, the directorate was operating without a permanent DG for the last one year.

Though the post was advertised last year, the petition claimed that the appointment of a permanent head of the CDNS was deliberately delayed.

The CDNS is responsible for the mobilisation of domestic savings through the sale of various government securities called national saving schemes. The CDNS operates the defence saving certificates, special saving certificates, regular income certificates, Bahbood saving certificates, saving accounts, pensioners’ benefit accounts and prize bonds.


Petition filed with IHC claims Ishaq Dar is delaying hiring of permanent DG of Central Directorate of National Savings


The petition said the prescribed qualifications for the post as stated in the advertisement was a minimum second class master’s degree in economics, statistics, commerce, business administration, public administration or administrative sciences with 17 years of experience in a responsible management post in a bank or similar financial institution, including the national savings.

In reply to the advertisement, 53 candidates applied for the post.

A committee, comprising Mr Dar, the secretary finance and additional secretaries finance and establishment division, scrutinised the candidates and on March 3 and 11, 2014, shortlisted a few of them.

The shortlisted candidates had served in leading banks and financial institutions and those who fulfilled the requirements were further scrutinised for their experience and leadership qualities. It was decided that the candidate with the requisite leadership qualities should be selected for the post.

The petition alleged that the committee members wanted to conclude the process for the appointment of the DG but it was the finance minister “who wanted to keep the post vacant for somebody by whom he should indirectly control all the deposit in the CDNS.”

Though the joint secretary of the finance ministry is working under the direct control of Mr Dar, he has also been given the task to look after the CDNS.

The petition pointed out that the DG CDNS was a permanent BPS-21 post while Waqar Ahmed was working in BPS-20.

The petition requested the court to declare the appointment of Mr Ahmed as the acting DG CDNS illegal and also issue a direction to the federal government to appoint a regular head of the institution.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2015

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