- HR DMD ‘illegally’ transfers Rs 300,000 to his personal account for father’s medical treatment
- PEF employees deprived of emergency health insurance funds
- HR DMD returns money, says he had an ‘understanding’ with insurance company
Nothing appears to be more ‘emergent and important’ than the health of the father of Punjab Education Department Human Resource (HR) Deputy Managing Director (DMD) Amir Iftikhar Ahmad who allegedly misappropriated Rs 300,000 from the department’s emergency health insurance funds which were gathered by the department’s employees through a monthly installment.
A PEF official told Pakistan Today, “The DMD transferred the total amount of the emergency allowance into his personal account for the medical treatment of his father. During this time employees made several requisitions to acquire funds from the pool but their request was rejected time and again by the DMD, making one excuse after another.”
The official informed that the matter surfaced at a meeting held by PEF Chairman Raja Anwer who had been on medical leave. Different heads of departments brought the matter to the knowledge of the chairman over the “blatant misuse” of power and authority.
Sources reveal that the hard earned money of the department’s employees was not made available to the employees themselves in the need of the hour.
One of the employees also dispatched an application, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, to the Punjab chief secretary, secretary education, chief minister’s monitoring teams and various other high government offices, explaining the matter in detail.
A handout issued by PEF HR Department to its employees indicated that the contract for the ongoing year was given to Adamjee Insurance Company to cover medical expenses of its employees, for which monthly installments are deposited. The company has an emergency pool of a maximum of Rs 5,000 for each employee to cover emergency medical expenses.
SAVING THE SKIN?
Sources told Pakistan Today that the PEF employees fear that senior officials in the department were trying to save Amir’s skin.
While Amir was instructed by the chairman to deposit the entire amount back into the account, some senior employees were of the view that anybody involved in ‘misplacing’ funds should be dealt with strictly instead of being pardoned after returning the amount.
“The PEF deals with donation money coming from international agencies and doles out money to schools across Punjab. This will imply any officer misusing funds, if caught, can get away with handing the money back with no accountability,” said a senior officer.
According to the PEF chairman, “Even the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) offers fraudsters to deposit back money acquired by unfair means.” He further stated that no one has the authority to withdraw those funds except the Finance DMD, so misusing public money is out of the question.
JUST AN ETHICAL ISSUE?
DMD (Finance) Salman Anwer confirmed that Amir did not withdraw any money from the fund but transferred health insurance money meant for all employees into his account. “It is more of an ethical issue,” he said.
To a question, he said Amir was responsible for selecting the insurance firm on behalf of all the employees every year. “Investigations have been completed and the amount has been deposited back into the account,” he added.
DMD (HR) Amir Iftikhar confessed that he did use health insurance money for his ailing father’s treatment but not public money. “It is our understanding with the insurance company that if we need more money, we can take it from them and can return it later,” he said.
To a question, he said no one was denied claims for insurance money. “It is grossly incorrect if any employee claims that his requisition for emergency pool remained pending.”