Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) here on Wednesday, while hearing a contempt of court petition, directed the Finance Division and Ministry of Finance to issue a notification for 20% special allowance for all federal government employees.
The judge directed the respondents to submit a copy of the notification before the court by September 30.
It was on June 18, 2013, when the same IHC bench, while hearing 23 identical petitions of the employees of attached departments of federal government, had directed the respondents to indiscriminately pay the 20% special allowance.
When the orders were not implemented, the petitioners filed a contempt of court petition with the IHC which was heard on Wednesday.
Former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government on March 6, 2013 had approved the 20% special allowance for selected departments. The notification issued in this regard reads “The special allowance is not allowed to the employees of the secretariats of the president, the prime minister, the wafaqi mohtasib, the federal tax ombudsman, the National Assembly and the Senate and all other entities already being paid additional allowance”.
Employees of the federal government attached departments then filed a petition seeking court’s directions for increment of 20% special allowance. These petitioners included Federal Government College Teachers Association, Capital Development Authority, Pakistan Council of Science and Technology, National Archives, Departments of Communication, Security and Libraries, National Centre for Rural Development, Pakistan Public Works Department and Cabinet Division.
The petitioners told the court that the Ministry of Finance and Finance Division during the tenure of former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had issued an office memorandum on March 6, 2013, wherein it was informed that the prime minister had approved 20% special allowance to the employees working in the federal ministries.
The petitioners adopted that the employees of the federal government, like the employees of the secretariats of the president, the prime minister and the wafaqi mohtasib’s secretariat were already receiving special allowances equivalent to up to 100% of their basic salaries whereas the employees of the attached departments were denied the special allowances despite the fact that they also fall into the category of federal government employees.
Justice Siddiqui, while hearing the case, directed Section Officer (Legal) Nadeem Arshad of the Ministry of Finance to implement the court’s verdict come what may.
Nadeem Arshad told the court that the special allowance to all employees of the federal government would be a huge burden on the government treasury.
He also told the court that the federal government has already filed an appeal against the court’s order of June 18, which was still pending.