Lahore: Ombudsman Punjab, Javed Mahmood, has declared the employees of Punjab Government, holding Basic Pay Scale 16, gazzetted officers of the government and ordered to pay financial benefits of Benevolent Fund to all Elementary School Teachers, promoted in BPS-16 while treating them as gazzetted officers. He has directed Administrative Officer, Benevolent Fund to extend the benefits to all such officers who have applied within a period of one month and submit compliance report to Ombudsman Office.
He has also directed Punjab Government to review the Punjab Government Servants Benevolent Fund Ordinance 1960 and rules made there under.
Elementary School Teachers lodged a complaint to Ombudsman Punjab stating that they were promoted in BPS_16 @ 15% of the posts of EST as level-II, personal to them on seniority-cum-fitness basis in 2009 and contributing towards Benevolent Fund on monthly basis, at source from salaries @ 3% as prescribed in Punjab Government Servants Benevolent Fund Rules, but the benefits enunciated in the rules were being denied to them on the plea that they were not gazzetted officers.
Ombudsman Punjab directed Advisor Accounts Wazir Ahmad Qureshi to probe the issue. Advisor Accounts asked AO Benevolent Fund and Finance Department to explain their positions but both the departments could not satisfy Ombudsman Office.
On the recommendations of Advisor Accounts, Ombudsman Punjab ordered that Elementary School Teachers, promoted in BPS-16, were entitled to the benefits of gazzetted officers and their benefits of Benevolent Fund be paid while considering them gazzetted officers. He said that rate of deduction of Benevolent Fund was on the basis of grant of benefits and rate of deduction was the same i.e. 3% of pay for all the employees in BPS-16 irrespective of gazzetted or non-gazzetted. Punjab Government had already abolished all classes and classifications of services and posts as gazzetted and non-gazzetted vide Rule 5 of the Punjab Civil Servants (Change in Nomenclature of Services and Abolition of Classes) Rules 1974, said the Ombudsman Punjab.
This has been found that the government did not refine the Punjab Government servants Benevolent Fund Ordinance 1960 and rules made there under even after the inception of Punjab Civil Servants (Change in Nomenclature of Services and Abolition of Classes) Rules 1974 and the term “Gazzetted” and “Non-Gazzetted” wherever used were allowed to exist in the Benevolent Fund Rules etc. He has also directed Punjab Government to review the Punjab Government Servants Benevolent Fund Ordinance 1960 and rules made there under.