Privileges for officers in Pakistan much more than UN personnel reported by Rana Ahmed

In Pakistan, there is a general perception that the salaries of government officials above grade 17 are lower than those of the private sector and these officers are serving the country and the nation at lower salaries. However, a study conducted by a government think tank in Pakistan in collaboration with the United Nations has made some startling revelations about the salaries and benefits of government officials.

According to a new research report by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) available with The Capital Debates, contrary to popular belief, the salaries of government officials in Pakistan, if calculated with incentives, are not only higher than the private sector but also Grade 21 Pakistanis. The total amount spent on officers is 12% more than the amount spent on UN officers. Remember that the United Nations is generally considered to be a very generous institution. Pied conducted the study in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

According to the report, not everything is written on the salary slip, but benefits worth many times more reach the government officials in an imperceptible way, so it is better to give all the benefits to the government officials in the form of cash. Similarly, according to the World Bank's World Bureaucracy Indicator, salaries in the public sector in Pakistan are 53% higher than in the private sector.

How much does a government official in Pakistan pay monthly?

According to Pied's research, the average basic salary of a Grade 20 Pakistani officer is only Rs. If all the expenses, house and medical facilities of a car given to a Grade 20 officer are estimated, it is seven times more than his basic salary.

Similarly, according to official research, the average basic salary of a Pakistani Grade 21 officer is Rs. 111,720. It is as if their actual salary is eleven times their basic salary. Thus, the average basic salary of a Grade 22 government official is only Rs. 123,470 but he actually gets financial benefits of Rs. 11 lakh every month.

According to the report, a federal secretary receives more monthly financial benefits than his peer, a UN official. According to research, a UN Secretary-General receives about Rs. 910,000 a month. As the grades of government officials increase, so does the ratio of their basic pay and benefits. For example, if the personal use of government vehicles by Grade 20 and 22 officers, the amount spent on them is one point two times more than their basic salary.

Pied's research suggests that the salaries of government officials should be equal to those of their peers in the private sector, and that the annual increase in their salaries should be conditional on their performance.

Impact of government officials' concessions on national exchequer ?

According to this official research, the total value of housing used by government employees is about 14 trillion or one and a half trillion rupees. The government could raise more than Rs 14 trillion by selling all these government houses to the private sector. If the government rents out all these houses, it will provide about Rs. 11 billion annually to the government in rent.

Thus, the expenditure on vehicles used by government officials can be estimated from the fact that officers in grades 20 to 22 spend more per month on their vehicles than the basic salary. In addition to the medical allowances received by government officials in the salary slip, they are paid a total of Rs. 2.3 billion per month for medical expenses.

Impact of government officials' pensions?

Research has shown that the pension system of government officials in Pakistan is also more generous than that of the private sector. Although the official pension amount is 70% of the last basic salary of a government employee, if the increase in pensions by the previous governments is included, it becomes 122 to 140% of the basic salary.

On average, a government official who has been employed for 25 years continues to receive a pension until he reaches the age of 80, and on his death his thirteen heirs can claim a family pension, including his wife, unmarried daughter, Kim. Older children, widowed daughters, divorced daughters, disabled children and others.

Suggestions to the government?

In its research report, the government think tank has also given several suggestions to the government. One of them is that the government should link the increase in annual salary to performance and formulate a predetermined standard on the basis of which performance is tested.

It has also been suggested that cash be given in exchange for concessions, but the think tank has warned that the procedure should be improved as earlier monetisation of vehicles had failed as most of the officers also took money and violated the rules. They also used government vehicles in violation. The study also suggested that the government should not keep its residential assets.

History of Civil Service Reforms in Pakistan?

According to the report, Pakistan's bureaucracy is heavily influenced by its colonial history. The system of extensive bureaucracy that the British Raj had created for its government affected the functioning of the new independent state system. According to the research, in the 70-year history of Pakistan, 29 commissions have been set up for the reform of the civil service, but not a single commission has improved much. Most of the reforms changed the organisational structure and payroll a little bit, but the reforms did not improve the performance of the public sector.



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