Lawmakers in Senate were stunned at finding out that against 633 vacant posts from BPS-7 to BPS-16 in Utility Stores Corporation, National Testing Service (NTS) had conducted tests of 48,674 unemployed people and pocketed nearly Rs. 20 million in fees.
NTS charged Rs. 450/- per candidate for the posts in BS-16 and for all others posts below BS-16, there was a charge of Rs 400/- per candidate.
Interestingly, these posts were subsequently not filled owing to financial health of the corporation.
Minister for Industries and Production, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, informed the Senate that NTS called 21,079 candidates for tests in 2015.
The initial screening test was qualified by 3,165 candidates, who were to be interviewed afterwards. However, it was observed that most of these candidates, who had qualified the test, did not have relevant experience and required length of experience for the post.
After the advice from the ministry, vacant posts were re-advertised in 2016 and some 27,595 candidates appeared in second round of tests.
After second test, initial screening tests were conducted in January this year. The matter was placed before the USC board of directors, which observed that in view of weak financial health of the corporation, no fresh recruitment could be made and hence scrapped the entire process.
Consequently, no interviews were conducted and process of recruitment was stopped.
NTS Applications in Two Rounds for Jobs That Were Never Filled
Senators Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Mohsin Leghari, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini and Usman Kakar wondered why the unemployed people were made to pay test fee and undergo the grueling exercise if they were not to be inducted.
They questioned why the USC board could not assess the financial situation of the corporation prior to initiation of the process. They called for reimbursement of the NTS test fee. “They are already jobless, the NTS must pay back the test fee,” stresses Usman Kakar of PkMAP.
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, speaking on behalf of the minister for industries, said that the decision not to induct employees had caused disappointment but it would not be repeated in future. He also said that he would have to check whether or not the test fee could be reimbursed.