100 PBC workers awaiting justice
ISLAMABAD: Sajid, a middle-aged employee of Radio Pakistan (Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation) is working fulltime for the last 17 years on contract basis and still gets just Rs7000 per month, less than a labourer.
Talking to this correspondent he said: “I have a family and school going children and at this stage of my life I cannot find another job. I am waiting for justice from the PBC”. He is not alone; there are around 100 such employees working in the corporation for years.
Director General PBC Samina Parvaiz says it was the fault of those in the previous government who while regularising the services of around 900 contractual employees in last days of their rule ignored these 100 poor people.
The administration, on the advice of legal experts, has introduced a method of giving 89 days contract to the employees to avoid the law, which binds the organisation to regularise the services of any one who works for 90 days continuously.
The PBC in another move has also slashed the salaries of around one dozen contractual employees to Rs15,000 from Rs20,000 they were getting for the last several years. The contracts of five of them were done away with by the administration last week. Three of them were reinstated on pointing out by this correspondent while two are still out of job.
The analysts, journalists and subject specialists invited by the PBC in talk shows are paid paltry fees, which were last fixed in 2001,
Talking to this correspondent DG PBC said the contract days of the employees were surely fixed on expert’s advice while the salaries of the contractual employees were slashed on audit paras against their employment without undergoing the proper procedures (advertising of posts etc.
The PBC administration is also alleged to have transferred the relay rights of its most popular channel to a new firm on very meagre cost thereby causing huge loss to the corporation. The DG contested the claim saying the income, which accrued from the channel, is far less then what is being stated.
Another anomaly is that husband and wife have been made controller and deputy controller of the current affairs programme in violation of the law. The DG said she would look into it.
She said she would like to put up all these cases in the next board of directors meeting to do justice to the old employees and claimed she has increased the fees of newscasters and translators recently but she had no powers to hike the fees across the board.
On performaing Haj at the expenses of religious ministry, she explained her position in the Public Accounts Committee and told this correspondent that two people from radio Pakistan started going on Hajj coverage since 2011 and she used the religious ministry’s ticket and allowances besides the permission to perform Hajj.
She also receives Rs77,430 per month as transport allowance but regularly uses the government transport to and from office. She however claimed she uses official car only for official purposes.