50 PBC employees denied minimum wages of Rs7,000
*Kaira says they are slot workers and not eligible
By Noor Aftab
ISLAMABAD: As many as 50 employees working in different departments of state-run Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) are getting their monthly salary ranging from Rs3,450 to Rs5,000, which is even less than the minimum wages of Rs6,000 announced in the annual fiscal budget for 2010-11.
The federal cabinet gave approval to the Labour Policy 2010 on World Labour Day in which minimum monthly wages have now been increased from Rs6,000 to Rs7,000 per month. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafiz Shaikh also announced it in his budget speech in the National Assembly.
According to a salary chart the employees who are being paid salary less than Rs6,000 include three guest producers, five resource persons and 42 Audio Material Assistants (AMAs) who have been inducted on consolidated contracts by the PBC’s administration.
One of the guest producers Mehrab Khan is obtaining salary of Rs4,600 while two guest producers Farid Ahmad and Shahbaz Butt each are getting Rs5,000 per month.
Most of these employees including those 13 AMA who are securing monthly salary even less than Rs4,000 are quite perturbed over the situation and all of them now hope after announcement by the prime minister that their salaries would be increased up to Rs7,000.
The performance record of all these employees showed that except for only one guest producer the performance of all of them throughout the year was ‘satisfactory’ and there were no negative remarks against them.
An official of PBC who requested anonymity told ‘The News’ that induction of guest producers is a temporary arrangement but due to financial constraints PBC thinks it advisable to continue with them on same terms and conditions reached at the time of their induction. It is pertinent to mention here that the government in the previous annual fiscal budget fixed the minimum monthly wages at Rs6,000 but no serious effort was made to implement the decision as hundreds of thousands of employees especially in the private sector were compelled to work below this salary amount, mainly due to rising unemployment in the country.
When contacted, Mobashir Majoka, spokesman of PBC, said when any decision is taken at the highest level the procedure to implement it takes some time and “I can hopefully say that case of all these employees who are getting less than Rs7,000 as monthly salary would be forwarded to the Finance Ministry.”
Talking to ‘The News’ Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said guest producers and resource persons are basically part-time workers, so they are not given the benefits enjoyed by the regular employees.
He said these workers work on basis of slots (bookings) and some of them having same status even earn between Rs10,000 and Rs15,000 per month as they get more slots as compared to that of others.
Source: The News