Tuesday May 24, 2022

Action against officials ‘costs’ GB secy his position

January 03, 2022
Action against officials ‘costs’ GB secy his position

ISLAMABAD: The government of Gilgit Baltistan has transferred its Food Secretary after he initiated inquiry against two officials allegedly involved in malpractices.

According to documents available with this correspondent, Captain Retired Mian Adil Iqbal who was posted as Secretary Food in Gilgit Baltistan initiated an inquiry against two BS-14 officials for manual handling of Weigh Bridge in food godown at Islamabad. To ensure transparent inquiry process, Mian Iqbal transferred the those two official on December 2.

Interestingly, on December 6, the Food Ministers’ office (GB) wrote to the office of Mian Iqbal, seeking immediate withdrawal of the order against those two section officers. The letter from the minister’s office, present with The News, also cautioned the secretary against taking such actions without consulting with the minister.

On December 7, Secretary food posted a letter to PS to Advisor food (not minister), stating that his office is the competent authority and solely responsible for the decision of transferring officers of BS-01 to BS-18. He rejected the request of withdrawal by the minister's office.

On December 23, the GB government transferred Mian Adil Iqbal to its Islamabad office as Secretary Implementation and Coordination Department (GB) with immediate effect on administrative grounds in 'public interest'.

When contacted Mian Adil Iqbal, the official confirmed his transfer, but refused to comment on the subject. However, a close associate of Mian Adil in the Food Ministry (GB) told The News on condition of anonymity that Secretary Food GB was transferred for only doing his job sincerely.

The source explained that under clause 6(a and b) Schedule lll [Rule 8(1)] of Gilgit Baltistan Rules of Business 2009, the Secretary of the Department is empowered to take such actions without involvement of any third party such as the Minister's office.

Explaining the inside story, the source revealed to this correspondent that the government of Gilgit Baltistan is given a huge subsidy on wheat worthy of billions of rupees every year which is weighed through a computerized system known as ‘Weigh bridge’ in the food godown. The two officials had allegedly turned the weigh system to manual with fraudulent intentions.

However, when the secretary got to know of this wrongdoing, he took immediate action. Sources in the GB government, however, dismissed the impression that the secretary was transferred after he initiated action against the officials. They maintained that the transfer was a routine matter and the secretary had been posted to a very important position in the federal capital.