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June 29, 2020

Halal Authority chief’s appointment

Peshawar

June 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The matter is still unresolved despite going through a lengthy rigmarole.

It pertains to the selection of Akhtar A. Bughio, a grade 19 officer of the Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), as the first director general of the Pakistan Halal Authority (PHA) in grade 21. “The matter will be sent to the establishment division on June 29 for settlement,” additional secretary and spokesman of the Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) Maj. (R) Qaisar Majeed Malik told The News, when contacted.

As the story goes according to the documents available with The News, Bughio is required to resign as the director of the PSQCA, an organisation of the MoST, before joining the post of the PHA chief, but he is unwilling and wants to keep “lien” with his parent organisation. However, he has already assumed the charge as the PHA director general with the approval of the competent authority, but the MoSt is insisting that he should quit as the PSQCA director.

Bughio was working in the PSQCA as director in grade 19. When the post of the PHA director general was advertised, he applied for it, was interviewed along with another candidate of the establishment division, and selected, but did not fulfil the condition written in the advertisement and that was “if the office of BS-19 or below is selected, he/shall have to resign from his/her service before joining the appointment.” But despite that he was allowed to assume charge of the PHA chief on April 10 this year.

However, on June 3 the MoST wrote a letter to the PSQCA chief saying that Bughio has assumed charge without tendering resignation from his parent department, PSQCA, which is not covered under the conditions of published advertisement. “This is in violation of the pre-defined terms and conditions for the post and also against the right of fair competition to any candidate who did not apply because of this condition of resignation from service. Therefore, Bughio’s resignation may be provided to the MoST on top priority basis.” Responding to this letter, Bughio replied on June 11 that he, while performing his duties as director (BPS-19) in PSQCA Karachi, had applied through proper channel for the post of PHA chief. On April 10 in view of the offer letter for appointment against the post of the PHA director general, in continuation of the NOC/permission issued by the competent authority and consequent upon the resignation and relinquishment of the PSQCA post of director, he has been relieved from his duties after fixation/approval of “lien” against the post of the PSQCA director, he wrote. He also noted that his salary from the PSQCA has been stopped. Therefore, competent authority after completion of codal formalities has accepted his joining of the post of PHA chief in grade 21. He also sent the photocopies of departmental NOC, relieving letter, letter of fixation of lien and joining report.

On April 3, the MoSt notified that in pursuance of the decision taken in the cabinet meeting on March 10 as per section 9(1) of the PHA Act of 2016, the federal cabinet has approved Bughio’s appointment as the PHA head in grade 21 on contact basis for a term of three years with immediate effect. His terms and conditions shall be settled in consultation with the establishment division.

On April 10, the MoST said that in pursuance of its notification dated April 3, Bughio has assumed the charge of PHA chief.

On April 6, Bughio wrote to the PSQCA chief that in pursuance of April 3 notification of MoST, he has relinquished the charge of PQSCA director, conformity assessment south and system certification. He requested to maintain his lien with PQSCA being its regular employee as per rules and entitlement.

The PSQCA notification said that in pursuance of the MoST notification of April 3, Bughio is hereby relieved from his duty to join as the PHA head with immediate effect. His lien with the PSQCA will be maintained as per rules. On Nov 19, 2019, a no-objection certificate issued by the PSQCA said Bughio is working with it as director, technical, and is regular employee since 2006. It has no objection if he applies for the post of PHA head.

The MoSt spokesman said that it depended on the establishment to sort out the issue of Bughio’s appointment in response to the letter that his ministry will send to it on Monday.

Qaisar Majeed Malik said that Bughio’s selection would become lawful and authorised if he resigns as the PSQCA director to continue as the PHA chief, and added that it was not possible for the MoSt to bypass the advertisement. The other option for Bughio is that he should leave the post of the PHA director general and go back to the PSQCA, if he did not want to quit the PSQCA, the spokesman said.