AJK cabinet repeals law to regularise contractual employees

Published October 29, 2021
Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Niazi chairs a meeting of the AJK cabinet on Thursday. — Screengrab via Prime Minister's Office, AJK Twitter
Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Niazi chairs a meeting of the AJK cabinet on Thursday. — Screengrab via Prime Minister's Office, AJK Twitter

MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) cabinet on Thursday approved an ordinance to repeal a law, enacted by the previous (PML-N) government, whereby an unspecified number of ad-hoc, temporary and contractual employees were regularised in the name of humanity.

At a media briefing, Minister for Information Sardar Faheem Akhtar Rabbani said it was a discriminatory law aimed at benefitting favourites of the previous government and needed to be struck down for rule of law and merit to be upheld.

The law, which was passed on May 27 this year had provoked public outcry, prompting civil society activists to challenge it in the high court. However, the petition could not be heard to this day due to non-availability of judges.

During its election campaign, the PTI had expressed commitment towards repealing the law after coming to power on the grounds that under the cover of regularising people with over 10 years of service on ad-hoc or contractual basis, the PML-N government had given a benefit to all those appointed till its enactment.

Mr Rabbani said a cabinet committee, headed by Minister for Finance and Inland Revenue Abdul Majid Khan, had unanimously recommended to repeal the law following which an ordinance was placed before and subsequently approved by the cabinet.

“As a result, all beneficiaries stand reverted to their previous status and will have to go through the exams concerned as envisaged by the law, rules and regulations,” the minister said.

Separately, he said, a three-member committee had been constituted to give recommendations about whether inductions against non-gazetted posts should be made through third party recruitment or previous procedure of departmental committees.

The report on reforms in the accountability law would be placed before the cabinet at its next session, he said, adding the cabinet had resolved to hold local body polls in May next year.

Until then, he added, district administration officials would continue to hold dual charge of administrators of LB institutions, instead of politically appointed administrators.

Mr Rabbani said the cabinet had also constituted a committee led by senior minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas to look into the need of and recommend development projects of public importance and utility to be initiated under the proposed Rs500 billion package committed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In this regard, the AJK premier would call on Prime Minister Imran Khan in the federal capital on Friday, he said.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2021

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