Federal government employees get a blow from Finance Ministry over three months pay honorarium

Federal government employees get a blow from Finance Ministry over three months pay honorarium

ISLAMABAD - A senior Finance Ministry source said on Saturday that the PM order over the issue of three months basic pay honorarium, as reflected in the media, was the consequence of a misunderstanding and is likely to be clarified by the ECC. “There is no such approval for the payment of honorarium equivalent to three-month basic salaries to all the federal government servants,” the source said.

The source explained that as against over a million federal government servants, this honorarium will be given to a few thousand government employees belonging to different government departments for their extraordinary work like how officials/officers of Finance Ministry, FBR and Parliament are paid honoraria every year for their budget related work.

According to the official notification issued by Secretary to the Prime Minister, Fawad Hassan Fawad, on Friday the PM/chairman of the ECC has seen and is pleased to order that all employees of the federal government shall be given honorarium equivalent to three basic pays for the financial year 2017-18.

Sources in the Finance Ministry, which had moved the summary on the subject, said the PM’s office notification is defective as it conveys a wrong message. The ministry said the summary never talked about any such honorarium for “all federal government servants”. The Finance Ministry summary, these sources said, was concerning “Grant of special performance incentive to the officers/officials of the federal government” and did not talk of any proposal for any number of incentive pays for “all the federal government servants”. The Finance Ministry’s summary was moved following PM’s directions on a case regarding grant of special honorarium to the officers/officials of the office of the Attorney General for Pakistan.

According to the summary: “This issue has been reviewed in Finance Division. As such, there is no reward regime for high performing individuals in the federal government. However, a special dispensation is prescribed in the Rules…. Provide that special compensation can be given for work that is not included in normal duties and is occasional and intermittent in nature.”

The Finance Ministry explained that the present practice of grant of honoraria is based on the ECC decision under which honorarium to employees up to BS-18 is given with the approval of principal accounting officer. The cases of honorarium for employees in pay scale BS-19 and above are approved by the ECC chairman, in relaxation of the policy.

The Finance Ministry in its summary proposed parameters for a new incentive regime under which those performing well in the federal government could be given honorarium on the basis of key performance indicators. The ministry said that the proposed new incentive policy will be finalised only after consultation with all stakeholders. The summary added since the finalisation of the new incentive policy will take some time, it is proposed that the past practice of granting honoraria may be continued and the Ministry of Finance may be delegated powers to approve the cases of honorarium for those recommended for 2017-18. The summary contained the annexure including names of officers recommended for the honorarium.

The PM’s office order, the Finance Ministry sources clarified, pertains to those included in the list of officers annexed with the summary. It does not cover all the federal government employees.