SAHIWAL: Cost for the finance department is around Rs600 million if the provincial government decides to award Pay and Service Protection (PSP) to 6,500 public sector college and commerce teachers who have been protesting with the support of Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) and Commerce Professors and Lecturers Association (CPLA) by staging a sit-in at Civil Secretariat, Lahore, for the last 20 days.

This was claimed by Abul Hasan Naqvi, who is representing the PSP committee which is part of three-member team that negotiated with Additional Chief Secretary Sayed Ali Murtaza on March 24, while talking to Dawn.

He said in 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2012, as many as 723, 870, 2,098 and 2,600 college teacher, respectively, were inducted on a contract basis. In the same manner as per the policy evolved by the Musharraf dispensation, around 500 commerce teachers were appointed in 2004 on contract by Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta).

He said [above] four batches of college teachers were regularised in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Likewise, 500 commerce teachers were also regularised in 2012 after the federal government withdrew the contract policy in 2009 and asked all the federating units to regularise the services of contract employees.

President Ittehad-i-Asatiza Pakistan Chaudhry Mustafa said both Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa followed the federal government’s directions and provided PSP to all contract employees. But the then Shahbaz Sharif-led provincial government in Punjab delayed the regularisation of contract employees for one year. Later, the PML-N provincial government continued with the contract scheme along with regularisation policy.

PPLA Additional Secretary Ms. Sadia Alvi said the teachers were regularised without adding contract period of the service.

Surprisingly, the Higher Education Department through a notification on July 9, 2013, withdrew its policy that had been agreed in 2009. The matter has been unresolved since then.

An insider told this correspondent that as per the direction of the chief secretary, the provincial finance department and cabinet division along with the HED secretary had been working on the financial implication of PSP and “their figure is also matching with the amount calculated and provided by the members of the union.”

A source in HED has claimed that the amount is not big and the department can manage it from its own allocated budget.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2022

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