National Assembly body terms 1,000 appointments in PARC illegal

National Assembly Standing Committee on Food and Agriculture has recommended the Ministry of Food and Agriculture that 1000 appointments made in of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) by its Chairman Dr Zafar Altaf are illegal, and be discontinued and re-advertised prior to submitting its report to the committee within 10-day.The committee noted that the contract agreement of Dr Zafar Altaf was for two years, which expired on 11-08-2010, the ministry might also give justification for continuation of his job to date.The committee met with Javed Iqbal Warriach in the Chair at Parliament House on Wednesday. The committee discussed the issues including status of the PARC Chairman and illegal appointments including consultants.The Committee was told that Dr Zafar Altaf was appointed as PARC Chairman on 11th August, 2008 as per usual terms and conditions of the contract agreement for the period of two years.During the meeting, the official of Establishment Division confirmed that Dr Zafar Altaf contract expired since 11-08-2010. However, the matter has been referred to the Performance Review Committee, consisting of Secretary Establishment Division, Secretary Finance Division and Secretary MINFA which is still awaited.The Committee recommended that Performance Review Committee should decide the matter within 10 days and Minfa should report to the Standing Committee accordingly.With regard to the issue pertaining to appointment of Consultants, PARC Board of Governors on 8th August, 2009 concluded that the procedure prescribed for recruitment should have been followed. The Board decided to re-advertise the posts on Regional/Provincial quota basis immediately and the present appointments may be cancelled.

The committee recommended Ministry of Food and Agriculture to follow the direction in letter and in spirit, which is not implemented.The Standing Committee expressed concern on non-compliance of decision of BOD and Ministry of Food and Agriculture has failed to take administrative action in connection with illegalities in PARC.Ministry of Food and Agriculture pledged to take action within one week.The Standing Committee recommended that as all appointments were illegal these should be discontinued and re-advertised.Ministry of Food and Agriculture should enquire the whole matter after obtaining all details and list of appointments. This issue will be discussed in the next meeting – Brecorder