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Event Title: Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Ministry of Science and Technology, Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-06-06

On Tuesday, the Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology met under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Shafiq Tareen at the Ministry of Science and Technology to discuss long standing unresolved issues pertaining MoST and COMSAT University Islamabad. The committee discussed at length various issues.

While taking briefing by Prof. Dr. Sajid Qamar, acting rector   Comsats University Islamabad regarding fixing salaries of regular employees & daily wagers / contract employees according to Federal Government Basic Pay Scales the Chairman committee remarked that an internal meeting between the staff and the administration must be conducted and come to a settlement on salaries. While making a comparison between the salaries of the govt. basic pay scale (BPS) 2022 and CUI Pay scale 2021 are highly variant and inconsistent. The administration of the university pledged that the salaries are being based and settled on the available funds, however meeting would be conducted to resolve the matter. Similarly, on the matter of assigning interim charge as Acting Registrar and regaining of Treasurer, after completion of his term, the Chairman committee said that the information provided by the ministry in this regard is incomplete and sought more detail on the subject matter. It was apprised that the Senate CUI has draft the summary and put up the case in the PM’s office.

On the matter of budget status for FY 2022-2023 regarding its approval from the competent authority ( CUI Senate ), it was apprised that the CUI budget is approved by Senate of CUI after its approval by Finance & Planning  Committee ( F & PC), syndicate and Senate. The committee while vetting upon the classification of the budget raised question on the other charges of rupees 3,219.496 million. The committee deferred the matter observing that the details of the budget are incomplete and sought complete details including details pertaining to other charges of 3,219 million rupees.

Chairman committe while inquiring on the establishment of CUI, at Quetta campus it was apprised that an temporary premises of PCSIR Labs, Quetta is being established in PCSIR labs. It was apprised that Secretary MoST has written letter to chief Secretary, Govt of Balochistan. The committee lamented the delay in the establishment of the university, the ministry recommended that only cost of 146.215 million and the budget is available. The ministry recommended the committee to immediately write a letter to the minister to expedite the matter as soon as possible since its establishment at the moment is possible due to the availability of required finance. Similarly the Ministry apprised on the budgetary proposal related to Public Sector Development program (PSDP) for financial year ( 2023-2024). The Secretary  MoST briefed the committee that it demanded a budget of 10.1 billion rupees however a budget of 7.5 billion rupees has been approved, however it was proposed that an other one billion should be added into the budget so that ministry can perform at its best. The committee apprised that there are a total 32 ongoing projects, 09 new projects with a total cost of rupees 26496.567 and 12982.602 million respectively.

The Committee also took up the matter pertaining to employment issues, including promotion/demotion, and release of salary, of a Assistant Professor of CUI. After hearing both parties the committee directed the Acting Rector CUI to revisit the matter with an open heart and submit the review report to this committee in 7 days.

Earlier in the meeting, the meetings deliberated upon the current progress of recovery from cement companies which were fined / penalised. It was briefed that the Cement products were included in the mandatory of PSQCA (the OPC in 1982, SRC in 1988, Slag Cement in 1992). It was briefed that the cement industry is not paying the marking fee to PSQCA for the last 15 years with an outstanding dues to the cement industry se Rs 4500 millions till June 2022, most of the cement industries have failed to pay the said amount. The committee failed to the understand as to why the PSQCA has not fined any cement unit as yet. The committee also raised serious question on the vacant seat of the the DG PSQCA since 1 and half years. The committee apprehended mala fide  intention at the part of the PSQCA and recommended to take proper steps and involvement of the Attorney General of the Supreme Court central to the matter.

The meeting was attended by Senators Sana Jamali, Kamran Murtaza, Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Dr Afnan Ullah Khan and Senator Anwar uk Haq Kakar. Senior officials of other attached departments were also in attendance.