Those slain in terrorist attacks to get high compensation, others to get reduced packages
The finance ministry has approved up to Rs10 million in compensation for families of government employees who die in terrorism-related incidents but has proposed significantly lower financial assistance to families of those who die of natural causes.
A three-member Secretaries Committee has approved the revised compensation package, said Finance Secretary Waqar Masood on Thursday. Masood headed the three-member committee, constituted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to review a 2014 financial assistance package which the finance ministry had opposed. The revised package has been forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office for the PM approval, he added.
In October last year, the PM had approved a comprehensive financial assistance package for families of government employees who die during their service. However, immediately after its announcement, the finance ministry refused to fund the package. Subsequently, the PM put the implementation of the package on hold and constituted a committee to resolve the issue.
Masood said that 2014 package had been announced without the consent of the finance ministry, which carried huge financial implications. The finance secretary said the revised package has been given while keeping in mind the 2006 compensation levels. In terrorism-related deaths, the committee did not make any change in the financial assistance package announced by the PM.
Subject to final approval by the PM, the families of government employees from Basic Pay Scale (BPS) Grades 1 through will be entitled to Rs3 million in financial assistance if the cause of death is security-related. Grade 17 officers’ families will get Rs5 million, grade 18-19 officers’ families will get Rs9 million and grade 20 and above officers’ families will receive Rs10 million.
The finance ministry has proposed significantly lower increases for the assistance package for families of those government employees who die of natural causes.
Masood said that in case of natural death, the financial assistance package has been increased by 300% for all categories of employees.
Under the 2014 package, the PM had announced Rs2.5 million in assistance for the families of deceased government servants in Grades 1 through 16. Based on the 2006 formula, such families would have gotten Rs200,000 for employees from Grades 1-4, Rs300,000 for employees from Grades 5-10, Rs400,000 for employees from Grades 11-15, and Rs500,000 for employees in Grades 16 and 17.
The finance ministry kept the merging of Grades 1-16 from the PM’s 2014 package, but decided to take the inflation-adjusted average of the categories from the 2006 levels – which came to Rs600,000 – and then tripled that number to Rs1.8 million. That number is much higher than the existing levels, but lower than the Rs2.5 million promised by the PM.
For Grade 17 officers, the PM had announced a Rs4 million package, which the finance ministry has significantly revised downwards.
Under the 2006 plan, families of officers from Grades 18 and 19 were entitled to Rs800,000 on their death from natural causes. The revised package will be Rs2.4 million, which is lower than the Rs8 million promised by the PM.
The families of the grade 20 and above deceased officers were getting Rs1 million under the 2006 package, which should now be Rs3 million, as per the formula explained by Masood. The PM had announced Rs9 million for this category.
The premier had also announced free education and health services to all the children of the deceased government employees up to the age of 18. In addition, the PM had announced employment for one of the family members up to BPS-15, on a regular basis without advertisement against the post criteria the applicant fulfills.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2015.