ISLAMABAD: The government has directed all federal ministries and institutions and the governments of four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to submit by Sept 1 the declarations of assets held and acquired by their employees during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.
In separate office memorandums, the government has also notified 15 per cent ad hoc relief allowance (ARA) to the officers in management grades, besides extending the benefit of 5-10pc ARA to selective corporations and autonomous bodies.
The Establishment Division has asked the secretaries of all federal ministries and divisions, chief secretaries of the four provinces, AJK and GB, the National Accountability Bureau chairman, Wafaqi Mohtasib, federal tax ombudsman, the Election Commission of Pakistan, Intelligence Bureau and Auditor General of Pakistan to ensure submission of declarations of assets held by government servants working under their jurisdictions.
It reminded that all the servants were required under Rule 12 of the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964, as well as administrative instructions issued by the government from time to time, to declare their assets and liabilities. The administrative heads of the respective ministries and institutions have also been asked to submit a certificate to the effect that such declarations had been obtained from all employees under their administrative control.
The Establishment Division maintains the record of declarations of assets of officers of the Pakistan Administrative Service, Police Service of Pakistan, Secretariat Group and Office Management Group. The declarations of assets of all other service groups, including Foreign Service and Judicial Service, are maintained by their respective ministries, divisions and departments.
The Establishment Division has recalled that “non-compliance of these instructions [are] tantamount to misconduct in terms of the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964 and cognisable under the Government Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1973”. The declarations of assets are also required to be placed before the promotion boards in compliance with a judgement of the Supreme Court.
Under Rule 12 of the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964, every servant is required, at the time of entering a government service, to make a declaration of all immovable and movable properties, including shares, certificates, securities, insurance policies and jewellery having a total value of Rs50,000 or more belonging to or held by him/her or a member of his/her family.
Every government servant is also required to submit annual declarations of income, assets and expenses for the financial year ending June 30, showing any increase or decrease of property as shown in the declaration of the last annual return. Under Rule 13 (A) of the said rules, the assets of all those who are paid from the government exchequer are required to be made public.
Ad hoc relief allowance
In a separate order, the Ministry of Finance said the government had granted ad hoc relief for the fiscal year 2018-19 at the rate of 10pc of basic pay to the management grades (M-I, II and III) with effect from July 1, 2018 and ad hoc relief at the rate of 5pc of basic pay with effect from July 1, 2019 to the M-III.
The amount of ARA will be admissible during leave, except extraordinary leave, and will be subject to income tax but not be treated as part of emoluments for calculation of pension, gratuity, house rent, etc.
The ministry has also announced that ARA at the rate of 10pc to civil servants in grade 1-16 and 5pc to civil servants in grade 17-20 of basic pay announced by the federal government in budget 2019-20 will also be applicable to the employees of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies and corporations, which have adopted the federal government’s basic pay scales in totality.
This will, however, not be applicable to those public sector corporations and autonomous/semi-autonomous bodies which have adopted different pay scales. In case of such organisations, the grant of ad hoc relief subject to existing conditions will be allowed with the concurrence of the standing committee of finance division on the recommendations of the respective boards of directors. The grant of ARA 2019 to the employees of these entities will invariably be tagged with financial positions of the organisations.
These corporations and autonomous or semi-autonomous entities have also been directed to forward the cases of only executive and supervisory staff with the recommendations of their respective boards for concurrence of the finance ministry to the grant of ARA 2019 subject to the existing conditions with effect from July 1, 2019. Subsequently, on the same analogy, this benefit will be allowed to non-executive/supervisory staff of these bodies with the approval of their boards.
Likewise, the government has also notified a 25pc increase with effect from July 1, 2019 in the rates of special pay admissible to senior private secretaries, private secretaries and assistance private secretaries of the ministers, ministers of state, parliamentary secretaries and additional secretaries.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2019