PTV’s employment quota marked by nepotism
The removal of the Pakistan TelevisionÂ’s (PTV) Director is not as surprising to those who have been witness to the employees being hired at competitive salary packages by the Shaikh Rashid ministry. PTV’s employees are uncomfortably aware of the fact that most vacancies in the organisation are usually occupied during martial law regimes and/or non-popular governments.
Appointments made during the democratic governments usually change when their respective governments are overthrown. Nearly 250 employees, appointed by the first government of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in 1990 by Ahmed Saeed Awan as the Federal Minister for Information, lost their jobs soon after President Gulam Ishaq Khan removed Benazir Bhutto from office.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) government, during the tenure of Shaikh Rashid Ahmed as Minister for Information and Broadcasting, appointed 886 employees at the PTV Station Islamabad against a total of 691 posts till June 18, 2006. Rashid’s ministry provided jobs to 1,625 employees against a total of 1,487 vacant posts in all departments of the organisation across the country.
The appointments were made in the categories of daily wages, contract, resource persons, professional package and trainees. With the exception of the PTV headquarters, employees were appointed in excess at the PTV News Centre, PTV Home Centre and PTV Academy.
On one hand, there have been excess appointments at the Islamabad Centre while on the other, appointments at the PTV Karachi and Quetta were less than the number of posts available. Around 130 vacancies were available at the PTV Karachi Centre on January 1, 2008 and 137 vacancies at the Quetta Centre. Similarly, 207 seats are vacant at different broadcast centres across the country.
Most of the appointments have been made against the rules of employment and in case of provincial quotas nepotism has marked the higher ranks.
The flood of employees at PTV Islamabad can be dealt with by moving them to other stations. This fear has gripped many at PTV Karachi, a place where employees from all other provinces have been working in abundance. Interestingly enough, employees from Sindh can hardly be seen at PTV Lahore, Peshawar, PTV Academy and PTV Headquarters, one source claimed. In fact, there are no more than 20 people out of the 2,300 employees at the Islamabad Centre bearing a domicile from Sindh. This only serves to increase the sense of deprivation towards the state-run television channel among those who hail from Sindh. It must be mentioned here that the Pakistan Television has a staff of around 5,800 but only 350 employees have been hired from Sindh against a national quota of above 1,000.
Employees at the Karachi Centre fear that if excess employees from Islamabad are transferred to Karachi Centre, the share of local people in jobs at the Centre will be further curtailed. The Islamabad Centre promotes their employees quickly so the junior staff there will become senior to the people in Karachi, one employee at the Karachi Centre told The News.
With the growing influence of some cliques at PTV, employees from the smaller provinces have no choice but to keep mum over the management’s atrocities. O
ne former office bearer of the PTV employees union said that if employees in the Islamabad Centre are regularised and sent to the provinces, the right of the local people will be lost. Even security guards (grade one officers), who should be employed locally, are taken from other provinces, he said.
Source: The News