Islamabad-The employees of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) who were transferred to the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) at the time of local government set up in the federal capital are still being regulated under the CDA Employees Service Regulations-1992, a situation the seniors at MCI feel uncomfortable with.

The reason for the MCI employees being regulated under the CDA regulations is that MCI still lacks proper rules and regulations although it came into existence around three years ago. According to chapter 8 of CDA Employees Service Regulations-1992, which deals with the ‘Authority’ and ‘Authorized Officer’, for employees in BPS-20, Secretary of the administrative division concerned is ‘Authority’ and Chairman [CDA] is the ‘Authorised Officer’; for employees in BPS-18 and 19, Chairman is the ‘Authority’ and Member concerned is the ‘Authorised Officer’; for employees in BPS-11 to 17, Member concerned is the ‘Authority’ and Director concerned is the ‘Authorised Officer’; while for employees in BPS-1 to 10, Director concerned is the ‘Authority’ and Deputy Director concerned is the ‘Authorised Officer’.

Much to the disappointment of the MCI employees, their status is not clear at the Federal Employees Benevolent and Group Insurance Fund (FEB & GIF). In a letter written to director (administration) CDA, by the director (F&A) FEBGIF on November 28, they are not sure about the status of employees of MCI as the entity is not covered under provisions of FEB and GI Act, 1969. “You are once again requested to apprise the latest position duly supported with documentary evidence regarding placement of different formations under the administrative control of MCI along with its employees’ details transferred from CDA. FEB & GIF has no option but to withhold claims of all employees of MCI till such time the CDA resolves the issue and responds,” the letter added.

According to the ministry of interior, establishment division and the finance ministry have been sitting on the proposed rules and regulations. The schedule of establishment for the MCI is also yet to be notified. In June 2016, certain formations and allied CDA staff related to municipal services were transferred to the MCI.

 The CDA employees had opposed their transfer to the MCI and approached the court for stay against the decision. The CDA employees transferred to the MCI got a stay order against the decision and are still being considered as employees regulated under the CDA regulations, a situation the MCI bosses don’t seem happy with. The total strength of the civic agency before the MCI was over 18,000 of which over 10,000 employees were transferred to MCI; 5,540 are working for both the CDA and MCI and the CDA has 2,805 employees in its own directorates. According to the officials at the MCI who spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity, the body is facing difficulty in administration due to lack of rules and regulations. In the absence of laid-down rules, they have to rely on the CDA Employees Service Regulations.

The approval of rules and regulations for the MCI is facing an inordinate delay as they are being passed back and forth between the Establishment Division and the finance ministry since the last several months. In October 2018, an interior ministry official had informed the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that the MCI cannot function properly without its rules and regulations and cannot spend the funds it collects against various municipal services. The official had told the committee that the interior ministry had forwarded the proposed rules many months ago but they are yet to be approved by the establishment division and the finance ministry. The MCI was formed in 2016 following the local government elections in the capital city in Nov 2015 but is still technically an ineffective body. The government never released funds for its development projects. As a stop-gap measure, the CDA has been loaning MCI money for it to pay salaries ad meet other non-development expenses.

The situation at MCI has led to a state of confusion among the employees working at both the CDA and MCI. The members have no staff, no funds to run even their offices. Some of the members of the MCI tried to generate funds from their respective constituencies by setting up cattle markets on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha but the move was criticized by the directorate of municipal administration for lack of legal cover. A union council chairman and member MCI, Mahtab Abbasi attempted to set up a temporary weekly bazaar near to sector I-10/4 at the proposed 10th Avenue to generate funds but that the CDA’s staff demolished the pavements for being them encroachment on the state land.