Wednesday April 24, 2024

KP tourism body exploits economization, saving policy of govt

By Arshad Aziz Malik
February 02, 2018

PESHAWAR: Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) has exploited the economisation and saving policy of government by inflicting over Rs14 million loss to national exchequer in four years in shape of foreign tours by particular individuals.

Twenty-two persons were appointed from grade 2 to 17 in Tourism Corporation without NTS tests. It was disclosed that three persons were appointed directly in grade 17, nine in grade 16, 3 in grade 14. While Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak had announced that all the posts would be filled in government offices and institutions on merit and passing of NTS test was must.

Under the Law of Access to Information 2013, according to the details provided by TCKP, Tourism secretary Muhammad Tariq Khan paid visit to England, Spain and China. While MD Tourism Mushtaq Ahmad and General Manager Sajjad Hameed accompanied him on five tours. It should be remembered that Secretary Culture and Games Muhammad Tariq is grade 19 officer and belongs to Secretariat Group.

His services were hired on deputation in 2012 and its initial tenure was three years which could be further extended to two years. But Muhammad Tariq has been working as Additional Secretary Tourism and Games for several years and now he has been given formal charge of Secretary Tourism and Games.

However, Supreme Court had ordered to send all officers working on deputation to their parent departments. The PTI is creating hurdles in the implementation of the court orders. According to the documents, a delegation of TCKP paid visit to London on November 6, 2017 to participate in World Travel Mart, where it has spent Rs28,74,250 in shape of their stay and other expenditure. The delegation included Special Assistant to Chief Minister Abdul Manam Khan, Secretary Muhammad Tariq Khan, MD Mushtaq Ahmad and GM Sajjad Hameed.

Another delegation visited Madrid, Spain on January 18, 2017 to participate in World Politics and Trade Expo. Once again the same above mentioned persons were the part of this tour and spent Rs24,14,346 there.

Another delegation of TCKP paid visit to China to participate in China Road Show from April 17 to 19, 2017 and once again besides same aforementioned persons Assistant Tourism Officer Amna Hasina Shaukat and IT Administrator Hammad Hussain were with them.

The fourth delegation of TCKP visited Germany to participate in ITB from March 3 to 8, 2015 in which former special adviser to CM Amjad Afridi, former secretary P&D Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Secretary Tourism Aftab Durrani, MD Tourism Mushtaq Ahmad and General Manager Sajjad Hameed were included. On this visit Rs20,67,696 were spent through national kitty.

During the tenure of PTI, a delegation of TCKP visited Berlin, Germany from March 5 to 10, 2014. Provincial Minister for Tourism Mehmood Khan, Secretary Tourism Ahmad Sajjad, General Manager Sajjad Hameed and GMTIC Ali Saeed were part of that visit. This visit cost Rs34, 33, 974.

Despite government claims, the TCKP in violation of rules appointed 22 persons from grade 2 to grade 17. According to official documents Usman Naeem was appointed Accounts Officer in grade 17 on December 15, 2014 whose monthly salary is Rs60,823. Husnain Khan was appointed as Planning Officer in grade 17 on January 1, 2015 whose monthly salary is Rs60,823. Sanam Bashir was appointed as Information Officer in grade 17 on December 15, 2014 whose monthly salary is Rs52,947. In the same way Hasina Shaukat was appointed as Assistant Information Officer Marketing in grade 16 on December 1, 2014 whose monthly salary is Rs42,149. Muhammad Zeeshan was appointed as Assistant Planning Accounts Officer in grade 16 and his monthly salary is Rs38,882.

Afrasiab Khattak was appointed as Assistant Planning Officer in grade 16 on January 1, 2015 and whose salary is Rs42,149. Muhammad Omair Khan was appointed as Computer Operator in grade 16 on January 1, 2015 and his monthly salary is Rs43,627. In the same way Yasir, Nouman, and Bilal were appointed as Computer Operator and whose salaries were Rs43,627 each respectively.

Muhammad Ilyas was employed as Accounts Officer in grade 16 in June 1, 2016 and his monthly salary is Rs40,339. Zarina Waheed is grade 16 computer operator who was appointed on August 24, 2016 and her monthly salary is Rs41,839. Tourist Guide Shezad Alam was appointed in grade 14 on December 16, 2014 on Rs26,650. Assadullah Jan was appointed as Personal Assistant in grade 14 on August 1, 2015 on Rs35,374. Shakeel Ahmad is too appointed as Personal Assistant in grade 14 on March 1, 2017 and his monthly salary is Rs33,989.

Bilal Johar was appointed as Technician in June 1, 2015 on Rs27,562. A junior clerk was appointed in grade 11 in 2015, while five naib Qasid were appointed who were withdrawing from Rs14,123 to Rs20,035 salary respectively. However, government has fixed Rs15,000 minimum salary.

On the condition of not disclosing his name, an officer of TCKP said that these appointments were made on the basis of personal like and dislike and only favourites were appointed. He said that merit would have been made ensure if these appointments had been made through NTS tests.

General Manager Sajjad Hameed, when contacted, said that the TCKP was an independent body and the appointments are made by themselves and for it formal advertisements were published in the newspapers, then scrutiny was carried out and candidates were shortlisted and selection was made through interview. He claimed that all the process was transparent and rejected any kind of political pressure in this regard.

When MD Mushtaq Ahmad was contacted, he said that foreign trips were the part of normal routine but he refused to tell all details of foreign visits on phone. He said he would tell all these details in his office. Despite repeated efforts he did not attend his phone and even he did not reply SMS.

On the condition of not disclosing name, an expert of tourism said that the aim of these foreign visits was to promote tourism but the tourism experts should have been taken with them so that they could invite tourist of other countries to visit Pakistan. He said that none of these officers were considered expert in tourism rather they made foreign trips to make their TA and DA.