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January 2, 2015

Bureaucrats continue to exploit car monetisation policy


January 2, 2015

ISLAMABAD: At a time when the government halved the benefits decline in oil price to consumers by raising GST from 17 to 22 percent on petroleum products, top bureaucrats continue to get maximum perks in the shape of monetisation of cars.
When petrol was available at over Rs100 per liter, grade-20 baboos were getting Rs65,000 per month, grade-21 officers Rs85,000 and grade-22 Rs110,000 for monetisation of car. Now the prices of POL products have witnessed steep decline but they baboos are still getting the same amount.
“When the benefits to the common consumers have been slashed down by raising GST rate then why top baboos are getting maximum amount on account of monetisation of cars,” top technocrats wondered while talking to The News here on Wednesday.It is a known fact that top bureaucrats are flouting the rules on monetisation of cars despite several warnings by the government.
Secretary Cabinet Division Babar Yaqoob was sent a message on his mobile about this issue, Joint Secretary of Cabinet Division Fazeel Asghar contacted this scribe on Thursday and replied that the monetisatio amount was not linked with the price fluctuation in POL products. The rules, he said, did not allow decrease or increase in fixed monetisation amount with fluctuation of petrol prices.
When asked about flouting of rules by baboos through using official vehicles, he said that all ministries/divisions were authorised to get certain number of cars for undertaking any official work. There are officers below grade 20 who are not getting monetisation so they also use official cars for official assignments. He claimed that there was no flouting of rules on monetisation by top bureaucrats.
However, the sources said that an undertaking was obtained from each entitled officer that in case he/she is found making un-authorised use of vehicle, he shall be liable to be proceeded under the relevant rules.
Under the implementation of compulsory monetisation of transport

policy for civil servants in BS-20 to BS 22, the federal government enforced monetisation of transport facility for civil servants with effect from January 1, 2012. Some disciplinary action was also envisaged under the rules for monetisation and role of media was also highlighted to identify usage of official vehicles. But misuse of official cars has become norm in the top bureaucracy but the Cabinet Division is sleeping on rampant violations.
The basic objective of this scheme is observance of the austerity measures and eliminating the chances of misuse of official vehicles by ensuring that an entitled officer may use only one vehicle, according to his entitlement.
For the purpose of overall implementation of this scheme, all federal secretaries/principal accounting officers were made responsible to particularly ensure that each entitled officer in BS-20 to BS-22 including himself/herself, is not in possession or in use of any project vehicle or the departmental operation or general duty vehicle, as well as, any vehicle of an organisation or body corporate in his ex-officio capacity, except the only vehicle allocated to him/her through this monetisation policy.
It has, however, been observed that the entitled officers are misusing the official cars meant for operational duty purposes. In some cases, the vehicles pertaining to the projects or subordinate offices or organisations are also being used by the Ministries/Divisions in violation of the undertaking given by each officer. Moreover, in certain cases the vehicles rendered surplus due to revision of unauthorised strength of each ministry/division have also not yet been surrendered to the Cabinet Division.
According to Planning Commission’s study, the government spent Rs530,000 per month on every grade-22 officer but it does not include luxuries for them in the shape of having one kanal plots and membership of elite clubs such as Islamabad Club.This scribe also sent message on mobile phone of Advisor to PM Musdaiq Malik but got no response till filing of this report.

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