ISLAMABAD: The newly-formed Islamabad Food Authority (IFA) is in a crisis as its employees are unpaid for the last three months.
Because of the non-payment of salaries, IFA could not take off properly as its employees are upset about their future.
However, an official of the capital administration said there was no delay on its part as the file of salaries had been moved to the interior ministry on time.
She said the interior ministry had already sent the file to the AGPR. “I do agree the employees are unpaid, but new departments face such issues. We are cognisant of the issue and will request the ministry and the AGPR to resolve the issue on a priority basis,” she said and added that the employees on the basis of misunderstanding had been perturbed over the delay.
“All the pending salaries of the employees will be released soon,” she added.
However, an employee of the authority said they were very upset due to the delay in the release of their salaries by the ministry and the accountant general office. “Why our issue is not being resolved on a priority basis,” he added, requesting the authorities concerned for early release of the salaries.
“IFA is highly important department, but it is unfortunate that currently its all employees are demoralised. How long we can work without salaries,” said another employee.
He said he had been running his house after getting loans, but now his relatives were unable to provide him more loans. I am facing a difficult situation,” he said. A few months ago, IFA was established to regulate and monitor the food industry in the capital city.
According to the website of the ICT administration: “Its [IFA’s] primary objective is to ensure the provision of safe and healthy food to the citizens of Islamabad, and it has been working diligently towards achieving this goal.”
IFA is responsible for implementing food safety standards, conducting regular inspection of food businesses and taking action against those violating regulations. It has the authority to issue fines, suspend licences and even close down establishments that fail to meet the required standards.
One of the key functions of the IFA is to monitor food products and ensure their compliance with international standards. It regularly tests samples of food products, including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products to ensure that they are safe for consumption.
IFA also plays an important role in raising awareness about food safety and hygiene among the public.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2023