LAHORE: Inspector General of Punjab Police retired Capt Arif Nawaz has recommended to the government to de-freeze the fixed daily allowance and grant it as per revised rates of 2017 to the policemen.
The Punjab government had allowed the police force the daily allowance in 2009 as par old rates fixed in 2005 and put a moratorium on its revision.
However, the employees of other government departments continued to avail this facility as par the laid-down policy, causing disappointment among police.
The IG, in his recommendations to the Punjab chief minister, has raised the point saying the morale of his force had gone down since its personnel were fighting war on terror risking their lives.
If the proposal was accepted in letter and spirit, the Punjab police would get financial benefits of Rs23.5 billion.
Presently, 180,000 uniformed employees were at the strength of Punjab police and the benefits would go to all of its units, including special branch, the counter terrorism department etc.
Talking to Dawn, the IG said since the government had frozen the daily allowance (in 2009 ), the difference in the salaries of the Punjab police employees and those of other government departments had gradually ended because others continued to get revised DA unlike the force.
“The purpose of awarding risk and daily allowances to the police force was to reward them (policemen) for performing a risky job in the fight against terrorism”, Mr Arif said.
In the recommendations dispatched to the chief minister, the IG highlighted the background of the case stating that keeping in view the risky nature of police employees’ job, the chief minister had allowed a special salary package for them on Jan 1, 2009.
“This package included inter-alia, fixed daily allowance of 20 days in a calendar month and this package had boosted morale and commitment of the Punjab police”, the letter (a copy available with Dawn) reads.
The letter further reads the force had received a substantive increase in the pay ranging from 30 to 60 per cent in different ranks starting from constable to the IG at that time.
Showing his grave concern, the IG stated that later the rate for the daily allowance was twice revised in 2012 and 2017 for the civil servants, but not for police employees.
“Freezing the fixed daily allowance at 2005 rate has placed the Punjab police at a disadvantage in comparison with the other departments who claim TA/DA at revised rates”, the IG stated in the letter.
He further stated that the situation had also caused serious concern and disappointment among police force at this critical juncture of high-threat security environment.
“Forgoing in view, it is requested that fixed daily allowance @ 20 days in a calendar month for Punjab police be de-freezed and granted at the revised rates daily allowance-2017”, the head of the provincial police recommended.
The IG also mentioned in the recommendations that the additional financial implications of the matter total up to Rs23.5 billion.