ISLAMABAD: Innumerable top bureaucrats are fooling the government successfully in the name of monetisation of transport facility as they pocket handsome amounts every month under the said policy but are using official vehicles at the same time.
For the civil bureaucrats, it is like having one’s cake and eating it too as not only a large number of senior civil servants are enjoying free rides, thanks to the project/subordinate departmental vehicles and car pools of the respective ministries and divisions Smelling the scam, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has recently raised its voice against the misuse of the policy of monetisation of transport facility by federal secretaries, additional secretaries and joint secretaries but there is no one in the government to check this blatant theft of public money. Emboldened by the corruption and the sleeping anti-corruption apparatus like the NAB and FIA, there are bureaucrats who are still using more than one official vehicle though the policy does not even allow them one.
Chairman PAC Nadeem Afzal Chun, when approached, told The News that instead of saving public money, the misuse and violation of the policy had added to the burden on public kitty. Chun lamented that the top baboos were pocketing handsome money apparently for surrendering their official transport but at the same time using official vehicles available in the respective ministry/division’s car pool or getting free transport from a subordinate department or a project.
According to official sources, a BS-22 officer gets Rs95,910 a month, BS-21 officer gets Rs77,430 a month and BS-20 officer gets Rs65,960 a month as transport monetisation allowance.
Endorsing the apprehensions of the chairman PAC, sources in the Cabinet Division admitted there was no strict and honest implementation of the monetisation policy.
These sources said there were many senior bureaucrats, including secretaries, additional/senior joint secretaries and joint secretaries who were shamelessly drawing the transport monetisation allowance as well as enjoying free rides. Mostly, it is said, the project vehicles or the official transport acquired illegally and informally from subordinate departments are being used by such corrupt bureaucrats and their families. The petrol, it is said, is also funded from the project money or by the subordinate departments.
The Cabinet Division sources said that they had no mechanism to check this corruption as it was done informally and remained a secret between the respective ministry and their subordinate department or the project management.
Civil servants in BS-20 to BS-22 were given the first option to purchase the allocated cars (that they were using before the policy) on the price to be determined as per criteria that was reflective of a great favour to the top baboos.
According to the criteria, these baboos were allowed to purchase their allocated vehicles at 15 percent depreciation for each completed year of life of the car on original price; or 20 percent depreciation per annum on reducing balance on existing market price. However, the minimum depreciated price shall not be less than Rs200,000 for 1000cc and Rs250,000 for 1,300cc vehicle. It means three to four years old vehicles were sold to the top baboos for merely Rs200,000 to Rs250,000.
Interestingly, these baboos were not made to pay the amount but were given the option to get the money deducted from their salaries in Rs25,000 a month installments.On the basis of the recommendation prepared by the bureaucrats themselves, the government enforced the compulsory monetisation of transport facility for civil servants in BS-20 to BS-22 with the approval of the prime minister. It was implemented with effect from January 1, 2012. The policy envisages a total ban on purchase of staff cars for BS-20 to BS-22 officers.