`PIDE operating without rules and regulations`
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By Kashif Abbasi | 9/2/2015 12:00:00 AM
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), a leading degree awarding institution, is being run without proper rules and states for the last nine years.

In the absence of adequate rules and regulations, which are a basic requirement for the functioning of any degree awarding institution, the PIDE administration has continued to violate many of the rules that apply to public sector institutions while making key appointments.

Sources told Dawn that the post of assistant registrar has the minimum requirement of a Master`s degree. Despite this, PIDE recently re-designated two officers, identified as Liaq Shah and Ghulam Younas, for the post of assistant registrar despite the fact that they do not meet the minimum requirement.

`This is an abuse of power. We have two assistant registrars who only have matriculation while thousands of degree holders are running from pillar to post for jobs in the government sector,` a senior PIDE official said, adding that the PIDE administra-tion has also violated several rules pertaining to financial and administrative matters.

The administration has also violated a Supreme Court order against the reappointment of retired officers as consultants. These officers include Muhammad Hussain as additional registrar, Dr Ejaz Ghani, Dr Muslehuddin and Dr Rukhsana Siddiqui. Sources said that these officers were re-appointed at a time when there were no budgeted posts.

PIDE was established in Karachi in 1957, and became an autonomous research organisation in 1964. The institute then shif ted to Islamabad and in 2006 was made a degree-awarding institution through a presidential ordinance.

In 2010, both houses of parliament passed the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Act.

Under the 2006 ordinance PIDE was directed to publish rules, statutes and regulations in the official gazette. The clause was also added to the PIDE Act 2010, but the institute has yet to do so.

Sources said that rules pertaining to financial and administrative matters are to be vetted by the Ministry of Financeand the Establishment Division, respectively. However, the management is delaying the finalisation of these matters.

`The high-ups want to keep administrative and financial matters in their own hands, which is why they are using delaying tactics. If all the rules, regulations and statutes are published in the official gazette, they will have to heed them,` a PIDE official said on the condition of anonymity.

When contacted, PIDE vice chancellor (VC) Asad Zaman said that the institute is being run in accordance with the rules and regulations.

When asked why employees have been appointed to positions for which they are not qualified, Zaman said, `The employees in question had been working as superintendents in grade 16, and the federal government upgraded the post of superintendent to grade 17. Following this directive, we too upgraded them in grade 17 and re-designated their post.

The two re-designated matriculate officers were appointed to the post of additional registrars (grade 17), and one was appointed as transport ofñcer(grade17).

When asked about the re-employment of retired officers, Zaman said they wereappointed on contracts due to their expertise as scholars, and were appointed in the interest ofthe institution.

Zaman said that a committee is working on finalizing rules and statutes, which will be published in the official gazette with the approval of the PIDE senate.

PIDE registrar Dr. Saifruddin told Dawn that the PIDE did not violate any regulations when appointing matriculate officers to grade 17.

`The government upgraded the post of superintendent from grade 16 to 17,` he said.

When asked why the two officers appointed as assistant registrars did not meet the position`s minimum criteria he said the rule only applies to initial appointments and not to promotions.

He also stated that the PIDE administration was not operating without any rules and statues.

`We follow the set rules. We take important decisions with approval from the Ministry of Planning Commission and the senate,` he said, and added that a committee in working on finalizing rules and statues in accordance with the requirements of the PIDE Act 2010.