Peshawar    -   Reports about financial issues in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have raised concerns in various sectors, with several leaders of employees’ unions predicting delays while the Finance Department declaring the salary issues to be resolved.

Discussing the issue, an official of a government department in Peshawar stated that the employees were facing mental agony after hearing that salaries might get late by a week this month. He also complained about the five-day wages cut from the salaries by the KP government for the flood relief operation. “My salary has been cut by Rs 15,000, which is a huge amount” he added.

There is also an impression in the provincial bureaucracy that while the federal government deducted only two-day wages from its employees, the KP government deducted five-day wages.

All Government Employees Coordination Council KP President M Aslam Khan said that salaries should not be an issue for the province. “Funds are separate under the salary and development heads. Salary should not become an issue,” he added.

He, however, said that the provincial government might be planning to mobilise the people in KP against the federal government by raising the issue of non-provision of funds by the centre to the province.  

On the other hand, KP Secretary Finance Ikramullah Khan told this correspondent that the salaries were delayed for just two days and that the employees would get salaries on October 3 (Monday). “First two days of October were holidays. Salaries shall be paid from Monday,” he added.

Whereas, KP Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra told The Nation that the province does face financial issues. “KP is not receiving certain funds from the federal government. Currently, more than Rs 6 billion each month are being withheld by the centre, which is affecting KP affairs,” he added.

He also said that this month there were financial problems for KP as the provision of monthly funds to KP was delayed. However, he said that as the funds were released, the salary issues have been resolved now. However, he admitted that KP is facing an almost Rs 45 billion deficit this month.

To a query about the employees’ objection to the deduction of five-day wages from their salaries for the CM flood relief fund, the minister said that the government employees receive a pay raise each year in the budget but they never thought of this benefit.

“A state-run schoolteacher receives a huge salary while the teacher of an elite school like Beaconhouse receives a smaller salary,” he elaborated discussing the salary increase being given to government employees each year.