Top Bureaucrats Got Millions in Eidi in 2011

Note:
1. Eidi is the money that Muslims give to their children on the festival of Eid or their poor servants.
2. President from 2008 to 2013 was Mr Asif Ali Zardai, husband of late Benazir Bhutto.

From the largesse of offering hefty amounts as “Eidi” to key officials to the controversial re-employment of several high profile officers, massive misuse of official vehicles and the controversial spending from a “hidden” dollar account, everything is secured in the files of the Presidency but there is no one to probe them.

Sources said that the contingent grant of the president was generously used to pay hefty amounts to the Presidency officials. On one occasion, in August 2011, nine officers were given Rs2.26 million as “Eidi”.

The recipients of the Eidi, which is usually offered to low scale employees like peons and drivers, in this case were the likes of a secretary general; a secretary; four additional secretaries, a consultant, ADD security and a director.

The sources said that following amounts were paid to above officials on the eve of Eidul Fitar in August 2011: Rs500,000, Rs169,580, Rs558,845, Rs174,906, Rs200,435, Rs134,457, Rs159,361, Rs157,298 and Rs129,390.

The audit team during those days has also observed that payment of Eidi to the top management officers is not covered under the rules. It also pointed out that the officers enjoying the status of ministers and secretaries did not deserve Eidi.

What is intriguing is that Eidi given is like payments made for some goods, as no one gives Rs200435 as Eidi. It is always in round figures.

One of the Presidency documents reflects on those retired re-employed officials, who were rehired controversially and against the rules and in friction with the Supreme Court’s ruling. These include a former secretary to the president, special secretary, two directors-general, two directors, a deputy director, a senior librarian, two senior private secretaries.

According to another document, the management of the Presidency has been grossly violating the government’s policy of “compulsory monetisation of transport facility for civil servants”.

A 2012 official paper said: “Management of the President’s Secretariat (Public) has not implemented the Rules/Policy for monetisation of transport facility for civil servants (BS-20 to BS-22) in violation to above government instructions and all the entitled Officers of this secretariat are using the staff cars exclusively.”

Some old guard in the Presidency are tightly holding the official record that also speaks volumes of how, who and what have been the costs of the massive misuse the official vehicles. At least 16 vehicles were used merely for the protocol duties of the senior officers of the Presidency despite the fact that there is no provision in the rules for such use of government vehicles. Logbooks and movement registers of many vehicles were not even shared with the officers of the Pakistan audit department.

According to one source, a top aide of the former president has claimed over Rs20 million for the post that was never held by him for the period against which he was paid this huge amount.

The News has also got hold of the spending from a US dollar account, which according to the sources was a secret account but the spending showed it was also spent on the vehicles, laptops etc of the senior officers of the Presidency.

Details show that $209,458, $458,074 and $9,078 were spent for the purchase of bullet proof vehicles; $473 and $25,132 was spent on modification of vehicles; $3,163, $2,487, $2,606, $1,645, $612, $1,226, $1,187 and $883, were spent for the purpose of laptop computers.

From the same account many cheques were issued for the purchase and repair of cars, for financial assistance to a few persons, reportedly family members of some Presidency employees. In one case of maintenance of BMW armoured vehicle, which was used by the principal secretary, $48,140 were withdrawn from the account. For the same vehicle, another amount of $35,575 was spent to purchase the tyres. Financial assistance of $5,122 was also given as educational expense to the daughter of one of the employees. $2,986 were spent from the same account to purchase two Apple iPhones and one Blackberry for the key baboos of the Presidency.

Talking to a correspondent of daily Jang, an aide of the former president rejected the story, contending that whatever was given to anyone was very well according to the rules. Rejecting the report, he lamented that once again reports were being filed against the former incumbent of the presidency, and added that neither anything was proved in the past, nor will anything be proved in future.

Courtesy: The News International

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