The government has decided to regularize contract employees of all ministries and divisions in Pakistan. These employees include over 12,000 from power distribution companies (Discos) appointed during the previous government’s tenure.
According to the sources, the government has set up a committee with Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, in the chair.
The committee includes secretaries of the establishment division, law, railways, finance, and power. It will formulate a uniform policy for the regularization of the contractual staff of the ministries and divisions.
This development came when the power division presented a summary before the cabinet, seeking approval for the regularization of 12,011 contract employees hired by the Discos in the previous government’s tenure.
The cabinet members told the Prime Minister during a meeting that a large number of contractual employees are awaiting regularization. Therefore, it was decided that a unified policy on the regularization of contractual employees working in ministries and divisions will be chalked out.
The officials said that the government had placed the Discos on the privatization list in 2014. Since then, there has been no regular recruitment. Over the passage of time, the distribution network expanded and the employees retired, which led to the shortage of staff in the Discos.
The Ministry of Water and Power asked the Privatization Commission for permission to recruit staff in the companies. The commission gave permission for fresh hiring on September 16, 2015, on a condition that only critically required officers and staff should be hired on a contract basis with a maximum duration of one year.
The hiring was done in 2015-16 and those employees are still working on contract. However, according to the service rules in Discos, the services of employees recruited in grades 1 to 16 need to be made regular employees after two years in service. Whereas, employees in Grade 17 and above should be regularized after one year in service depending upon performance.
Currently, a total of 15,261 contract employees ranging from grades 1 to 18 are working in the Discos. Over 12,011 employees have been working for over two years.