LAHORE: The Standing Committee of the Punjab Cabinet on Finance and Development has approved the project allowance for civil servants, now calling it new public management (NPM) allowance, who would work in projects and other such entities.

Project allowance was introduced in Punjab in 2006 but it was withdrawn by Shahbaz Sharif government in 2011 under the austerity policy. The project allowance was revived in 2014 but was yet again discontinued on July 27, 2018 because of its enormity in certain cases. Many bureaucrats had to return their allowances as was directed by the NAB.

Officials said on Sunday the new allowance, if notified, would be same for all civil servants of a grade, eliminating the chance of paying huge amounts to the blue-eyed officials. They said a summary for the chief minister was initiated by the Planning and Development Board for grant of project allowance for projects/programmes, policy units/policy cells etc wherein it was proposed to introduce the Public Management Allowance for in-service regular government servants to attract the best brains.

The following amendments to rates of the PMA allowance were proposed. The rates included BS-22 Rs300,000 to Rs350,000, BS-21 Rs250,000 to Rs300,000, BS-20 Rs200,00 to Rs250,000, BS-19 Rs150,000 to Rs200,000, BS 18 Rs100,000 to Rs150,000, BS-17 Rs75,000 to Rs100,000, BS-16 Rs50,000 to Rs75,000, BS 11 to 15, Rs40,000, BS 5 to 10 Rs30,000 and BS 1 to 4 Rs20,000.

Officials said the finance department had endorsed the proposal with the recommendations that the allowance might be allowed for all projects, programmes, policy units, policy cells, authorities and companies in addition to those asked for by the P&D Board.

The NPM allowance may be reviewed annually by the selection board constituted on May 8, 2019. Appointments against the posts of project directors, directors general, chief executive officers, managing directors and head of an entity whatever the designation may be, to the extent of government servants should be made by the respective competent authority on the recommendations of the selection board.

For private sector employees, appointments against the post of the head of an entity or other subordinate posts may be made by the relevant prescribed channels of recruitment under their relevant laws, rules and regulations.

Officials said the regulation wing, the S&GAD, had endorsed the views of the finance department, while the law department opined that the Punjab government was empowered to modify its policy. They said the chief had approved the placement of the proposal before the cabinet committee which had approved it. The new allowance would be notified after fulfilling the remaining formalities, officials said.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2019

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