–PLRA employees threaten to go on strike from 26th if govt doesn’t regularise their services
–PLRA DG says department has sought funds from govt to take care of employees needs
LAHORE: Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA) employees have called attention to the violation of employee rights at the government department, adding that they will go on a protest on November 26 if their demands are not met.
In a recent letter to the Punjab chief minister, the officials of all Punjab service centres of PLRA, the Punjab government’s agency for land registration, have lodged complaints about the poor human resource directorate, the absence of service rules, lack of commission and no provision of medical facilities.
In the same letter, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, the contractual employees mentioned that more than 6000 graduates have been working at the Arazi Centers of PLRA as Service Center Officials (SCO) for a decade, however, they do not have basic employment rights due to government and PLRA negligence.
The demands mentioned in the letter include that all the SCOs should be regularized at Basic Pay Scale Grade 14 and their previous service to be counted in as no increment had been given to them in the last three years.
They also demanded that the service structure of PLRA needed to clarified and transparent as most of the SCOs had crossed the age limit of 30 years, and did not get paid for overtime.
The contractual employees demanded that the employees should be promoted to Service Center In charge upon merit, and a promotional quota and pension should be included in the service structure.
It was mentioned in the letter that at the time of issuing Fard, the Patwari are paid one-fourth of the Fard price whereas SCOs are not paid anything on the transfer of land.
“At Arazi Record Center, a Patwari of relevant Moza gets RS100 rupees upon data entry and transfer, whereas, the SCO only gets Rs4 as commission which is a discriminatory policy that should be stopped,” the letter added.
Further, the employees have demanded medical facilities, claiming that PLRA does not provide a compensation even if an employee dies on durty.
Talking to Pakistan Today, PLRA Director General Rao Aslam said the authority was trying to resolve the issues of the PLRA employees.
“A new Board is being constituted as a new government has taken over. The service rules shall be presented before the new board for consideration. All provisions shall be settled too.”
However, he added that he did not consider the demand for commission on land transfer “justified”.
“We have sought funds from the government for our nighttime staff. We will hold dialogues with our service centre employees and we try our best to resolve the matter for the maximum welfare of the staff.”
The contractual employees have mentioned that their motive for staging a strike is not to incur damages to the authority, rather, they were “fighting for their own rights” as no heed has been paid to their concerns in the past.
They added that during the strike all the Arazi Centers of Punjab would remain closed for the public.
The Punjab government had established a Project Management Unit (PMU) ten years ago under the name ‘Land Record Management Information System’ which was aimed at digitizing the land record in Punjab. In order to run the department, staff was hired from all over the province on a contractual basis, Pakistan Today has learnt.
In 2017, after the success of the PMU, it was converted into an autonomous authority as PLRA with the same contractual staff which was working under PMU.