By: Islmail Dilawar
Karachi Port Trust (KPT) has started issuing notices to hundreds of its officers and employees asking them to show-cause as to why should the naval management not terminate their “illegal” services.
“Since April 25, at least 70 16-18 grade officers have received the show-cause notices. While up to 1100 employees have started receiving the same from today (April 26),” said one such officer working at KPT’s Human Resource department.
The recipients of the notices, which the sources said may eventuate into their termination, have been given seven days to respond to the management’s questions ranging from submission by the employees’ incomplete health and educational credentials to their alleged involvement in unlawful activities.
“In the notice, the management tells us that our hiring was illegal because no proper procedures were followed by the then management,” the officer told Business Recorder, requesting anonymity.
The notices, officials at the ministry of ports said, were being issued on the directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who wanted the KPT management “to undo” all the allegedly illegal appointments and promotions made on political basis in the Trust during PPP-MQM reign.
Then chairman KPT, Aslam Hayat, they claimed, had surprisingly devolved his powers to General Manager Administration Rauf Akhtar Farooqui who had hired up to 1200 people allegedly without following due procedure. “The chairman was well known for having said that he had been receiving some anonymous calls of ‘bori bund laash’ (corpse in a gunny bag),” the ministry official claimed.
He said the issue in question was under investigation since January and now was the time to act upon the “politically-motivated” inductions. Terming any anti-worker decision as deplorable, labour leader Arshad Anwar said KPT management had been holding meetings on the issue for last couple of days.
“They say it is because of the irregularities committed in appointments and promotions under Rauf Akhtar Farooqui in 2012,” said the general secretary of KPT’s CBA Workers Union.
A former official at KPT’s administration department blamed the present PML-N government for “ex post facto application” of the 2012 procedures it had changed in 2014.
“You know, pressure is being exerted on a certain political party nowadays,” he told Business Recorder, seeking anonymity. He also dispelled the impression that 100 percent of those employed in 2012 were Urdu-speaking or MQM affiliates. “A good number of people belong to cadres others than MQM,” said the ex-KPT official.
Asked to comment, one of the 70 officers having received the notice claimed having “nothing to do with” Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
“I am one of those facing nepotism,” he said adding his appointment in 2012 was made under Section 19 of KPT’s Officers Recruitment and Promotion Regulations 2011. “This federal government’s gazette empowers KPT chairman to officers of 16, 17 and 18 grade officers on a temporary stipend for 3-6 months,” he said.
The officer said thanks to 2003’s golden handshake policy which sent about 1100 KPT employees home. Almost all heads of department (HODs) in KPT had then requisitioned for staff.
“I was appointed after properly being interviewed by Mr Farooqui and then Manager HR Mehmood Sharif,” he recalled. His service regularization at KPT, he said, came after December 10 and 20 (2012) announcements of PM Yousaf Raza Gilani and Minister Babar Ghauri that the services of all contractual employees at the country’s three ports be regularised.
“Now with the regime change, N-League changed all the top officials at KPT but found not many vacancies on the schedule of staff. So they started the probe saying PPP and MQM had made illegal recruitments,” the officer claimed.
“I have nothing to do with MQM. But yes my hiring was made when MQM and PPP was in power and without any advertisement,” he said.
Source: Business Recorder