Punjab government employees salaries in danger due financial crunch

Punjab government employees salaries in danger due financial crunch

LAHORE: Caretaker Finance Minister of Punjab Zia Haider Rizvi has said the interim government has inherited outstanding payments of Rs71 billion under different heads and its first priority is to timely release salaries of government employees.

“Punjab government is facing cash flow issues due to various reasons,” said Rizvi in a statement on Thursday. A major reason behind that was slower transfer of provincial share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award by the federal government.

Apart from the NFC award, some shortfall in the Punjab Revenue Authority’s tax collection, due to the Supreme Court order that suspended tax collection on telecommunication services, is another factor behind the liquidity crunch.

“In view of this, the Finance Department has anticipated that some cheques/instruments will remain unpaid this year,” he said.

The caretaker chief minister has directed the Finance Department to accord first priority to the payment of salaries as per directives of the Supreme Court.

Second priority is being given to claims of less than Rs5 million to facilitate maximum number of people with comparatively slower cash flow whereas third priority is being given to payments of over Rs5 million.

“The government of Punjab had issued an advice to the State Bank of Pakistan for making payments in accordance with the above priorities and instructing all banks concerned to stay open on June 30,” he said.

Moreover, as per the chief minister’s directives, Rizvi also wrote a letter to the federal finance minister seeking the release of withheld share of Punjab and it was also reiterated in a meeting with the finance czar in Islamabad.

A number of cheques and instruments issued by various departments or organisations of the Punjab government and the payments made on June 30, 2018 could not be cleared because of various reasons.