By H. Hasan
ISLAMABAD-The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council employees stopped their work and staged a protest after alleging that the council has announced abolishing the health allowance.
The PMDC official, Ali Raza, while talking to Dental News explained that the allowance has not been abolished, it is suspended after receiving an audit objection para from Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) that the payment of health allowance to PM&DC employees was identified as irregular. As per AGPR, this allowance is only for Federal Employees and bureaucrats, whereas PM&DC is an autonomous body. The allowance which is being paid since last 4 years may not be payable as per AGPR.
The information has come to the knowledge of PM&DC recently so instead of abolishing it they have decided to suspend it in the interim period till such time that the matter is resolved. PM&DC has already contacted the Attorney General’s office to resolve the matter and appointed an independent company A.F. Ferguson to look into the matter and give an independent opinion.
The suspension of the allowance is only to ensure that PM&DC employees are not burdened in any way if the finding come against the payment of health allowance. This is just an interim suspension till the matter is resolved, the officer stated.
The step is taken for the benefit of the employees as if found irregular the payment will have to be recovered so the management decided to suspend it to ensure employees are not burdened at a later stage. The health allowance is 31% of the salary and PM&DC is making all possible efforts to resolve the issue in favour of PM&DC employees.
Around 250 employees stopped their work and announced to continue protest to reverse the decision by the council.
The official also said that there is a tussle among the PMDC members while the employees are also suffering due to the uncertain situation.
President PMDC Dr Tariq Iqbal Bhutta has formed a five members committee to work on the demands of the employees and look for possible solutions.