Governor signs bill regularizing services of contract employees in Gilgit-Baltistan

Sost, July 23: Governor Syed Pir Karam Ali Shah has signed the Regularization of Contract Employees Act 2014, confirming regularization of contract employees serving in at least 23 departments of the Gilgit-Baltistan government.

The bill that had become a bone of contention between the Governor’s Secretariat and the GB government had been passed by the GBLA to regularize services of a large number of employees who had been employed on contract during the last many years.

It is pertinent to note that the previous chief secretary had also tried to fill the posts through the Federal Public Service Commission, by attempting to revoke services of the contract employees. However, the bureaucracy’s efforts were thwarted by members of the GBLA, aided with support from the clergy and various political parties and groups.

The GB Supreme Appellate Court had also decreed in favour of the contract employees, saying that they have been serving their departments for a long period of time and terminating their services of asking them to appear in FPSC tests may not be a just move.

The news has come as a relief for thousands of employees in different grades. At least 123 of the employees regularized after signing of this bill are from BPS 16 and 17, according to sources.

The governor had returned the bill twice in the past without signing it, irking political leaders and clerics alike, who had in turn accused the governor of “nefarious designs”.

In a statement two days back , the governor had rubbished such allegations and said that the bills had been returned to remove “technical glitches”.

Some people had opposed the regularization of contract employees act, terming it a murder of merit and protection of ad-hocism. Some also called the bill an effort to legalize corruption in the region, because, they said, these employees were hired following due process. A protest demonstration had also been held in Islamabad to condemn the passing of the Act.

However, today the Governor has signed the act into a law, under immense political pressure.

With reporting by Abdul Rehman Bukhari 

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