ISLAMABAD: College teachers of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) have expressed disappointment over excessive delay in payment of their rental ceiling as well as discrimination in the assessment of the rents of their houses.

According to an official source, the authorities were unable to release payments of rental ceiling to owners of houses, which have been pending for over a year. Moreover in many cases, the assessed rent by the hiring committee of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) is below the rental ceiling of teachers.

A lecturer at a local college said the public’s money is misused for “fake repair of furniture, vehicles and on different false purchases every year” but there is always no budget to pay rental ceiling to teachers.

House owners are threatening teachers of eviction if rent is not paid timely and the authority concerned should come forward to address the issue of backlog of unpaid rent which accrued during the last one year, he demanded.

Another lecturer, who managed to purchase a house in E-17, said: “I fulfilled the entire requirement for hiring a house. Covered area of my house was even more than the required area but the rent assessment committee of FDE assessed the rent below my ceiling fixed by the government. I was maltreated by the FDE rent assessment committee which fixed my rental ceiling one category below and denied the rightful privilege.”

“On the other hand, my counterparts in other government departments have been receiving the rent of their houses situated in the same sector according to their rental ceiling. This is sheer discrimination with me. I have no access to higher authorities to seek justice and fair play,” he added.

When contacted, president of Federal Government College Teachers Association Dr Rahima Rahman said the payment of rental ceiling is not made smoothly and is delayed by months. As a result of this, she said, teachers pay rent to landlords from their own pockets or by arranging money through loans. Contrary to this, employees working in ministries and other government departments never face any difficulties in connection with this matter, she said, adding they always get payment well in time and according to their rental ceiling and covered area of the house but unfortunately in case of teachers there are different standards.

Some of our teachers are not being paid according to their ceiling and covered area because the rent assessment committee of FDE has contrived its own inspection procedure of approving or disapproving the rental ceiling, she said.

“Teachers have been deprived of their due rights and fair demands but despite their efforts, they are unheard and are facing continued struggle. What performance can the government expect from a teacher who is always a victim of such perils? The new government should take notice of this and adopt a strategy for clearing the rental ceiling on time for the teachers,” she added and urged authorities to pay the rental ceiling immediately to facilitate teachers.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2022

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