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January 5, 2019

High Court judges, ministers, officers to use official cars for 12 years

Peshawar

January 5, 2019

PESHAWAR: The monetisation measures approved by the provincial government to regulate the use of official cars by judges, ministers and officers would save Rs800 million annually.

Under the newly approved rules, the judges and staff of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), ministers, advisors to the chief minister, special assistants and all other entitled officers, head of commissions and authorities would be bound to use official and staff cars for 12 years. Similarly, the new rules would also strip the officers of certain grade, except for the positions of deputy superintendent of police (DSP), superintendent of police (SP) and deputy commissioner, of the provision of the drivers, which would save over Rs10 million in the salary head of single grade-6 driver while after pension, he costs the government around Rs250 million. The Finance Department has made insertions in the Delegation of Financial Powers Rules and the Staff Car Operation and Maintenance Rules and the provincial cabinet on Wednesday approved the amended rules. The new rules will immediately become effective once the Finance Department notifies them after getting the minutes of the cabinet meeting pertaining to the decision on the official vehicles.

Secretary Finance Shakeel Qadir Khan told The News that the department remained in the process to identify the areas for “cost-cuts” or those where the government expenditures were very lavish. “So one of such areas was the use of the government vehicles,” he said and added that at the moment under the Government Vehicle Rules 1992-93, a government vehicle could only be condemned after seven years or on the completion of 165,000 kilometres.

However, it has been observed that condition for the use of the vehicles have changed now to a certain extent because roads have improved, maintenance, fuel and parts’ quality and standard of the vehicles have enhanced that has prolonged the life of the vehicles, the secretary further said. Shakeel Qadir maintained that the Finance Department, after a thorough analysis, arrived at the point that condemnation period of the official vehicles should be raised up to 12 from the existing seven years or its mileage be increased from the current 165000km to 315,000km.

The department, he said, worked out the required changes to the Staff Car Operation and Maintenance Rules and as it did not require any legislation, so they submitted the same to the cabinet which approved it. Similarly, previously there was a rule that every vehicle on its condemnation had to be handed over to the Administration Department for auction where it had to get rusted for years in the junkyards, the finance secretary informed. However, now the vehicles would be offered to the officers in whose use the car would be on the completion of its condemnation period after applying to it the depreciation formula on the pattern of corporate sector, he elaborated.

“In the same way, we are going to bring in another innovation. We are going to do away with the provision of drivers with the staff cars of the officers of certain grade, may be grade-18 or 19, and we are doing it for a reason,” Shakeel Qadir added. He explained that a grade-6 driver costs over Rs250 million to the government in salary, pension and honoraria, etc. It mounts up to billions when accrued on the retirement of the serving drivers and their replacements, he said.

However, he made it clear that mostly the sedentary and stationary positions in secretariat and elsewhere will be deprived of the provision while the positions that require high level of mobility such as DSPs, SPs and DCs will continue to have the facility of drivers for their official cars.

The new rules, he said, would apply to the new and in-use official staff cars of all departments, public sector organisations and even the high court.

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