Commerce Minister Demands Executive Allowance for Officers of Commerce and Trade Group

Minister of Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar has demanded executive allowance for BS 17-22 officers of the Commerce and Trade Group in a letter to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.

The minister said in the letter that the conditionality that this allowance is only admissible to those officers who have been posted by the Establishment Division has been put in place by ignoring almost half of the current actual working positions of the Ministry of Commerce, which are being manned by officers of the Commerce and Trade Group.

He termed the denial of the allowance to the officers of the Commerce and Trade Group a “gross discrimination,” as these officers have been denied executive allowance on a strange premise that they have not been posted by the Establishment Division.

The minister stated that “devoid of any logic and reason, the said Office Memorandum is not only against the principles of natural justice, equity and fair play, it has also created stark discrimination by excluding officers of Commerce and Trade Group who work under the same roof in the Ministry along with the officers entitled for this allowance who constitute only about 20% of the actual working position.”

The minister has demanded to revise the Finance Division’s Office Memorandum dated July 19, 2022, pertaining to Executive Allowance by including officers of the Commerce and Trade Group working in the Ministry of Commerce.

Moreover, the letter also highlights the matter of income tax imposed in the Finance Act, 2022 on allowances and prerequisites of officers and officials posted on trade missions.

The Ministry of Commerce administratively controls 45 trade missions abroad, manned by 57 officers and ancillary staff. The letter states that this tax imposition will gravely undermine the work of these missions and has demanded suspension of the said income tax.