2292 FATA SNEs to be filled first: Senate body told

ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Wednesday was apprised that 2292 Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA) Sanction of New Employments (SNEs) would be prioritized and the posts would be filled first.

The committee, which met with Hilal-ur-Rehman in the chair, was briefed about SNEs and appointments in Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO) by the Secretary Finance FATA Secretariat.

The secretary said the remaining SNEs from amongst more than 5500 SNEs would be taken up later as it was not feasible to consider all piled up SNEs at once.

Giving the break-up, the committee was informed that the 2292 SNEs included 824 seats from educational sector, 616 from health sector and others in various areas including Archeology, transport, minerals, water, archives, housing etc.

The committee was also told that for pay packages of regular employees in FATA, the secretariat followed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government policy and for contractual employees, it followed the federal government policy.

The Secretary Finance said salaries of the employees were not stopped but there was some delay in determining rate of increments.

The committee also discussed the criteria for recent appointments in TESCO.

CEO TESCO Engr Dr Zakaullah Khan informed the committee that TESCO had low financial viability and hence against 300 required posts, only 38 were approved and advertised.

He said it was mentioned that people with FATA domicile would be given preference and 18 out of 38 selected people were from FATA.

The committee expressed concerns over low number of recruitment of people belonging to FATA and stressed upon the need to properly follow rules which states that local people have to be given preference.

It summoned officials of Establishment Division, Secretary WAPDA in the next meeting.

The Secretary Finance said that FATA Development Corporation, which was established in 1970, was designed to work for development of FATA in skill, minerals, water sector, industry among others. In 2002, the FATA Secretariat took over the control of areas which were previously under FATA DC. Later the FATA Development Authority was established but it worked under the Secretariat.

The meeting was told that 35 schemes, which were initiated at the time of FATA DC, were merged with FATA Secretariat after 2002 and work on none of them was halted.

It was also told that amount in the accounts of FATA DC in 2002 was later used to pay compensations and salaries/pensions to employees who were still serving in FATA. A sum of 808 million had been paid while Rs 408 million was still in bank accounts for future use.

The committee asked the FATA Secretariat to have conducted an audit of the expenses.

The committee was also given a briefing about the percentage of local staff belonging to FATA hired by NGOs working in FATA in coordination with the United Nations.

Senators Sajjad Hussain Turi, Aurangzeb, Khanzada Khan and Sitara Ayaz, Minister of State for SAFRON Ghalib Khan, Secretary SAFRON, Secretary Finance FATA Secretariat, CEO TESCO and DG Project FATA attended the meeting.