ISLAMABAD – A Division Bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday suspended the orders of a single bench, which had directed to increase 20 per cent salaries of all the federal government employees on account of ‘special allowance’.
The bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan and Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi suspended the orders of a single IHC bench of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui who, on June 18 last, had ordered 20 per cent increase in the salaries of employees of attached departments and corporations of federal ministries on account of ‘special allowance’ in accordance with the employees of secretariat.
The federal government through a deputy attorney general (DAG) Sheikh Mohammad Yaqoob challenged the June 18 orders of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui while saying that the said allowance would cost Rs50 billion per annum to the national exchequer that the government could not afford.
The DAG contended before the division bench that the 20 per cent special allowance was approved for those employees of the prime minister’s secretariat who perform late sitting and are frequently asked to work even on their weekly off days.
“The federal government is already paying 300 per cent special allowance to the superior judiciary’s employees, 100 per cent to the policemen and the staff working at the presidency,” the DAG told the court.
He argued that the IHC single bench in its order did not exclude the departments where the employees are already getting the said allowance and directed the government to pay additional allowance to the tune of 20 per cent of their basic salary to all employees of the federal government and its allied departments and ministries.
Therefore, he prayed to the court to set aside the June 18 decision.
It is pertinent to mention here that the finance division during the tenure of former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had issued an office memorandum on March 6, 2013 wherein it was informed that the Prime Minister had approved 20 per cent special allowance to the employees working in the federal ministries/divisions and Prime Minister Secretariat.
Then employees of the Pakistan Council of Science and Technology, the National Archives, Federal Government College Teachers Association, the Capital Development Authority, the Departments of Communication Security and of Libraries, the National Centre for Rural Development, Pakistan Public Works Department and the Cabinet Division challenged the increase.
They prayed before the court to direct the government to indiscriminately pay the 20 per cent special allowance to all the employees of federal government.
Acceding to their arguments, Justice Siddiqui had directed the federal government to pay 20 per cent special allowance to all employees of the federal government on June 18, 2013.