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July 4, 2020

Sindh govt takes notice of illegal appointments in union councils

National

July 4, 2020

KARACHI: The Sindh government has taken cognizance of hundreds of illegal appointments in union councils and union committees of different districts of the province, and nominated senior officers of the department as inquiry officers to look into the said appointments.

The same issue of illegal appointments was raised in 2014 and then Chief Minister’s Inspection Team (CMIT) nominated an inquiry officer, who investigated the issue and pointed out hundreds of illegal appointments. The inquiry officer had submitted his report to Sindh chief minister and secretary Local Government, but no action was taken against them. Now after six years, another inquiry has been initiated.

According to the official correspondence, copy of which is available with The News, six senior officers including Chargdin Hinorjo, Special Secretary of Sindh Local Government department, has been nominated as Inquiry Officer for Hyderabad Division, Zahid Hussain Khemtio, Additional Secretary of Sindh Local Government department will look into the Shaheed Benazir Abad Division, Dr Jamaldin Jalalani, Additional Secretary of Sindh Local Government department for Sukkur Division, Farooq Ahmed Siddiqi, Project Director Saaf Suthro Sindh for Larkana Division, Ali Ameer Ruk, Director Local Government for Mirpurkhas Division and Zameer Ahmed Abbasi, Secretary Local Government Board for Karachi Division.

According to the official record of the Sindh local government, some 20,000 unqualified persons were recruited from 2008 in Sindh local government department; in 2008-2012, 477 grade 11 to grade 17 Town Municipal Officers (TMOs), account officers and engineers were recruited without advertisement of posts and any test interviews and bypassing the Sindh Public Service Commission. Later, the TMOs recruited more some 13,000 fake employees in different Union Councils where they were posted.

A senior officer of the department on the condition of not being named informed The News that these employees not only created huge financial burden upon the Sindh government exchequer but also affected the overall performance of the local union councils due to heavy salary and pension bills which in many cases was more than 80 and 90pc of the sanctioned amount of the union councils.

In this regard, 437 fake employees had been sacked from district Ghotki which saved Rs 82 lacs per month out of the sanctioned Rs 87 lacs; in district Sanghar’s four union councils seven employees have been sacked and the matter had been forwarded to Sindh Anti-Corruption Establishment for legal action against these employees and the officers who appointed them.

Sources of the Sindh government informed this reporter that in the second phase, the scope of inquiry of recruitment of unqualified persons would also be widened to Municipal Corporations, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Karachi Development Authority and other Divisional Municipal Committees. The secretary Local Government and Sindh government's spokesman did not respond.