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Chairman justifies inductions, accuses Jang Group of impeding their work
 
 
Mumtaz Alvi
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
From Print Edition
 
 

 

ISLAMABAD: The Employees Old-Age Benefits Institute (EOBI) has recruited over 61 employees in grade-16, 17 and 18 without advertising the posts or going for tests and interviews, completely ignoring the quota system.

 

A list of these 61 recruits with The News shows that the overwhelming majority i.e. 45 have been accommodated from both Sindh Urban and Sindh Rural, nine from the Punjab, one from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while Balochistan has been ignored. Also, six more persons, hailing from Sargodha, Malakwal, Rawalpindi and Islamabad were inducted in December 2010 and in January.

 

The 55 persons appointed in July last year had been given another six-month extension on the same terms and conditions in December 2010. The incumbent government announced to give thousands of jobs to the people of Balochistan under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package (AHBP). But astonishingly, the Ministry of Labour and Manpower’s EOBI has completely overlooked the most backward and ignored province in giving jobs.

 

“Are the Sindhis, Indians?” was a sharp reaction of the EOBI Chairman, Zafar Iqbal Gondal, when The News contacted him for comment, who was the appointing authority, as to why so many people had been inducted from Sindh.

 

He also defended his decision of not going for advertisements for the posts and said it was not necessary to do so. Zafar Gondal, who is the younger brother of Food and Agriculture Minister Nazar Gondal, maintained it was up to him whether or not to go for tests and interviews and he opted not for tests and interviews.

 

When pressed how were then these appointments made and why quota that was a key part of the EOBI rules was not observed, he annoyingly remarked the Jang Group was after them and was hell-bent on impeding their work. He asserted he would not stop turning the EOBI into a really dynamic entity.

 

About leaving out Balochistan, he claimed the previous meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) in July had approved 10 special posts for the people of Balochistan with a condition, they would not insist on being posted outside the province. The same forum had given approval to the new 50 posts on contract basis.

 

The EOBI chairman asked this correspondent to provide CVs of 10 inhabitants of Balochistan with required qualification and he would recruit them. He said this when inquired why so many people had been given jobs from Sindh and some from the Punjab while those 10 special posts for Balochistan were yet to be filled.

 

He dispelled the impression that the overwhelming majority was given jobs from Sindh to please Federal Minister for Labour and Manpower Syed Khurshid Shah. Against these recruitments and some other policy decisions, an EOBI employee, who is also a unionist, Tajammal Hussain filed an application with the Supreme Court. The apex court issued notices on January 20 to Zafar Gondal, Secretary Ministry of Labour and Manpower Arif Azeem, Muhammad Hanif, DG EOBI, Faizul Hasan and Azeemul Haq Minhas and Iqbal Haider Zaidi — all DDGs EOBI to appear before a three-member SC bench headed by Justice Javed Iqbal on January 21. Other members of the bench are Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmad and Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.

 

A copy of the notice and the three-page court order is with this correspondent, which said, “that prima facie the prescribed procedure was never followed and for the sake of arguments, it is admitted that there is no prescribed procedure, the principles of natural justice have been violated ruthlessly.” The order also referred to against over 100 permanent posts of grade-17 and above.

 

Another paragraph from the order said that the EOBI chairman was present and had attempted to justify his actions but failed to point out under which provision of the law of the Employees Old-Age Benefit Act, 1976, he was competent to make all such appointments, including appointments on contract basis, that too from Mandi Bahauddin.

 

It was conceded that no advertisement was made for contract appointments as the nature whereof was ad hoc and temporary. “Be as it may, it appears that every appointment has been made in a reckless, careless and irresponsible manner without adhering to the relevant procedure and provisions of law enumerated in EOBI Act and rules and regulations made there under. The explanation by the EOBI chairman and secretary Ministry of Labour and Manpower is unsatisfactory. The matter adjourned and shall be treated as part heard. To come up on February 08, 2011,” the order said.