PESHAWAR: The doctors belonging to general cadre are awaiting the outcome of two inquiry ordered by chief secretary and director general health department to fix responsibility of delay in their promotion under the four-tier formula approved by the government in May 2011.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary has ordered on July 17 an inquiry under the special secretary regulations wing (finance department), Musharraf Shah Marwat. However, the report of the inquiry is yet to be made public.

The probe was ordered after Provincial Doctors Association lodged a complaint that a budget officer, Misbahuddin, was creating obstacles in the way of the long due promotions of doctors.

The budget officer has given observations on the promotion formula, saying 136 posts should be deleted from audit copy of promotion summary and the posts created or upgraded after 2017 should not be considered.

Two inquiries have been conducted to fix responsibility

The posts created and upgraded in 2016 were reflected and implemented in July2017 (Phase-I) while those created and upgraded in 2017 were to be reflected/implemented in july2018 as per notification of finance department issued on July 3, 2017.

PDA president Dr Amir Taj Khan says that the posts created in 2016 are reflected in the next year’s budget book and that of 2017 are shown in 2018, therefore, its deletion is against the rules as the four-tier formula has already been approved by chief minister and its first phase has already been implemented.

The regulations wing has rejected the objections raised by the budget officer and has asked for a wide-range committee, including officials of law, regulations, finance and health departments to resolve the issue once and for all.

In April2017, chief minister approved the formula but the finance department said that it would be enforced in two phases -- 50 per cent in first and 50 per cent in second phase -- because of involvement of huge amount.

Therefore, the Phase-I was implemented in July 2017, under which 677 doctors were promoted to BPS-18 from BPS-17; 365 from BPS-18 to BPS-19 and 73 doctors were promoted from BPS-19 to BPS-20.

Dr Amir Taj said that 150 doctors were not promoted in Phase-I about which they came to know later.

“Now their promotions in the second phase are due from July 2018 because of the government’s delaying tactics. We strongly demand action against those involved in delaying our promotions,” he added.

A similar probe ordered by director general health on July 27 is yet to see light of the day.

Cases relating to doctors’ promotions have not been sent to the four meetings already taken place where officers of all other department were regularly promoted.

Dr Amir Taj said that the next meeting of Provincial Selection Board would be held on September 18, however, promotion of doctors was not included in its agenda because of the unnecessary controversy created by the budget officer at the finance department.

“Scores of doctors have retired without getting promotion to next grades despite eligibility under the approved formula in last one year. They have been deprived of additional pension benefits and gratuity etc,” he said.

Dr Amir Taj said that they asked the chief minister to take interest in the case and bring to justice the people responsible for preventing promotion of doctors.

The government should implement Phase-II in back date and include 150 posts of Phase-I that were unlawfully not considered for promotion.

The PDA chief said that health department had been sending working papers to finance department since January 2018 but without any success as the same were sent back with reservations, which were totally illegal.

“Still the file of Phase-II is pending with the budget officer and waiting for committee’s formation to resolve the long-drawn issue,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2019