The disorganised manner in which the Sindh government runs its affairs can be gauged from its own minister’s disclosure that it is paying 338 dead employees, while over 12,000 ‘living ones’ are receiving double their salaries.
“There are 401,000 Sindh government employees, of whom only 328,000 have computerised national identity cards,” Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said on Monday.“The identity cards of the rest of the employees contain irregularities. There are 21,438 employees, whose records are not available.”
The minister was talking to the media after inaugurating the “Sindh Employees’ Smart Card Centre” – a National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) project - at the New Sindh Secretariat.
He said 338 employees had died, but they were continuing to get paid, while 12,046 were receiving double their salaries, which meant that they had two government jobs at the same time.The minister hoped that the smart card scheme would help create around 26,000 new job vacancies in government departments.
A senior provincial government official told The News that the information minister has merely stated almost the same figures that his predecessor had done so.
“This ‘erroneous’ data about employees provided by Nadra is devoid of facts.”He revealed that after learning about the irregularities, the Sindh government had formed a committee, which suggested that Nadra should coordinate with government departments to verify employees’ records.
“Hundreds of employees are getting paid on the basis of their old identity cards, which Nadra did not accept. Some of them have computerised national identity cards that are either incomplete or have one or two digits wrong. How is it possible that over 12,000 employees are drawing double salaries for years without getting noticed?”
The official said Nadra would charge the provincial government Rs900 for preparing a smart card for each employee.“To create the impression that the smart card scheme is really important, Nadra is perhaps exaggerating the figures about government employees’ records.”
However, the official admitted that there were discrepancies in the records that needed to be removed. “The smart card scheme may be a good idea for some offices including the Sindh Secretariat, but it is unlikely to ensure the attendance and punctuality of employees throughout the province.”
He noted that the services and general administration and coordination department had installed a biometric system for the employees of the Sindh Secretariat, but it failed to make a significant difference.
Speaking about the current political situation, the information minister told the media that “dubious” characters were joining the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Sindh.
He said it was the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) that paved way for PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s return to the country and also compelled Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf to give up his military post. He added that the NRO also eventually led to the restoration of the deposed judiciary, but now the “beneficiaries” of the ordinance were pointing fingers at the Pakistan Peoples’ Party.