OGDCL to hire daily wagers directly

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has formally allowed Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) to hire workers on daily wages directly and not through third-party contractors. This will not only allow the company to save millions but also ensure timely payment of salaries to those so hired.

The approval comes after a presentation by the OGDCL management to Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who was informed that savings achieved by the OGDCL by switching over from third-party contractors to direct payment to daily wagers amounted to more than Rs30 million per year.

The OGDCL management was under severe criticism from various circles after the contract system was abolished a few weeks ago and several complaints were lodged to the ministry against the decision.

The OGDCL management told the ministry that labour contractors who used to give kickbacks to OGDCL officers, mainly in its head office, were making this ‘hue and cry’.

The management said that most daily wagers involved were unskilled labourers working at the OGDCL’s various sites but their salaries were usually delayed by 2-3 months by the contractors.

“The company cleared all dues in time but contractors used to utilise the money in various ventures and delayed the payments to the daily wagers,” the presentation said.

OGDCL Managing Director Masood Siddiqui said that on some occasions daily wagers had organised protests against non-payment of their salaries.

Mr Siddiqui said the company had decided to increase the salary of daily wagers and Rs30 million which the company would save each year by ending the third-party contract system would be spent for the purpose.

The minister was informed that the system of directly hiring daily wagers had been in practice in the OGDCL in the past as well. At present there are 3,374 employees on daily wages in the company.

The company used to pay the third-party contractor Rs49.82 million per month, while the amount of total payment made to workers was Rs47.39 million.

More than Rs2.5 million was the profit of the contractor and some part of this amount was spent on paying kickbacks to some OGDCL officers, the managing director alleged.