GILGIT (ET): At least 69 employees from Gilgit-Baltistan’s (G-B) Excise and Taxation Department have been sacked while many are awaiting their fate as the regional government expedites a drive against corruption. “This is part of the overall drive launched on the instructions of the chief secretary against corruption and illegal practices in regional government institutions,” a district administration official said on Tuesday.
A section officer in the department, who allegedly bypassed rules to make such appointments, was also suspended from duty and will face an inquiry committee that will recommend a final decision.
The action was taken after the G-B Chief Minister’s (CM) Inspection Commission, on directives from Chief Secretary Younus Dagha, launched an inquiry into the alleged illegal appointments in government departments and submitted its recommendations.
The sacked employees include inspectors, sub-inspectors and clerks who had reportedly been appointed over the past two years against protocol. The official revealed that action was likely against 16 others allegedly appointed illegally in the department.
A similar inquiry was conducted recently that suggested that at least 200 teachers had also been appointed illegally in Ghizer Valley, while appointment records in Astor Valley are currently being investigated.
“This is not over by any means. The process will continue as long as complaints surface,” the official said about the inquiry which was launched last year after complaints of corruption flooded the chief secretary’s office.
Last week, two senior officials from G-B’s education department were forcibly retired and will not be receiving any retirement benefits after an inquiry proved them guilty. “Action was taken in light of recommendations submitted by the CM’s Inspection Commission recently,” said Burhan Afandi, a senior official at the Excise and Taxation Department.
CM Mehdi Shah also appreciated Chief Secretary Dagha for his efforts. “I support the good work that he’s doing,” Mehdi Shah told reporters at his office recently. “Dagha initiated the anti-corruption drive on my instructions.”