PESHAWAR: An irregular payment was made to the Nowshera Medical College staff members as salary from July 2014 to Dec 2016 as no student was enrolled in the constituent college of the Qazi Hussain Ahmad Medical Complex during that period, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was informed recently.
From July 2014 until now, the government has paid the employees of Nowshera Medical College and Qazi Hussain Ahmad Medical Complex a total amount of Rs158.7 million as salary, revealed the information submitted by the health department to the house in reply to a question of JUI-F MPA Uzma Khan.
Among those employees are 66 doctors and 31 other staff members and Qazi Hussain Ahmad Medical Complex’s 97 doctors and 192 other staff members.
Speaker Asad Qaisar chaired the session.
The health department revealed that despite the recruitment of staff members and enrollment of students, the college didn’t begin classes for not being recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.
It added that the college’s first MBBS batch of 100 students was enrolled in Dec 2016 on the directives of the Peshawar High Court but the classes didn’t begin as it was not recognised by the PMDC at that time.
The department however said the recognition process had begun.
It said the PMDC officials had inspected the NMC on March 8, 2017, in connection with the recognition before submitting a case of the college to the federal health ministry for notification of the recognition.
When the chair put the question to the house for discussion, Uzma Khan wondered why millions of rupees were paid to the NMC staff members though they didn’t perform any duty duties.
She also asked the health department about the reasons for its failure to get the NMC re-organised by the PMDC since Sept 2014.
“It is so strange that not a single employee of the Nowshera Medical College performed duty for more than two years as there was no student but they drew millions of rupees as salary,” she said.
Health minister Shehram Tarakai told the house that the recognition of the NMC was impossible with the recruitment of staff members.
He said the college had begun classes in a rented building, while its own building would be in place soon.
On the insistence of Uzma Khan and after the approval of the house, the chair referred the matter to the assembly’s relevant committee for further discussion and recommendation.
Local government and rural development minister Inayatullah Khan tabled an amendment to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act, 2013.
The amendment is meant to empower the government officers at the level of district, tehsil, village and neighborhood councils to utilise local government funds if there are no elected local government representatives for any reason.
In the amendment, the inclusion of a new sub-section in Section 35 of the law has been suggested after sub-section 4 to be called (4A).
The proposed section 4A states, “where the local council or local government, as the case may be, does not exist due to non-election, government may, by notification in the official gazette, authorise the deputy commissioner, assistant commissioner or assistant director LG at the level of the district concerned, tehsil or village and neighbourhood council, respectively to perform the functions relating to the utilisation of the budget within its respective jurisdiction as per parameters specified in the planning and development guidelines for the time being in force.”
Mr Inayat also tabled the Peshawar Development Authority Bill, 2017, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Private Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2017, in the house.
The chair later adjourned the session until a later date