The Senate sub-committee of the standing committee on Aviation, under the convenorship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, convened to address the issue concerning the lack of increase in pension emoluments for employees of the Civil Aviation Authority. The Convenor, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, led an investigation to determine whether Civil Aviation had adhered to the government pay scale in 1983 and which rules were applied by Civil Aviation in the year 2000.
During the subcommittee's discussions, several aspects were revealed, exposing deviations between the board and the Civil Aviation Organization. It became evident that numerous limitations had been exceeded, prompting committee members to express their displeasure regarding the authority's violation and misuse of public funds. Convenor, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, emphasized that no organization, whether public or private, should be given unlimited financial power. He stressed the importance of every organization having an audit committee, and the board's responsibility to oversee the financial health of the organization. Convenor, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla also inquired about the method of calculation used before 2014 and after 2014 from the Ministry of Aviation Division.
The Ministry of Aviation officers defended their stance by stating that Civil Aviation had not revised their payscale in 2022, but it was increased in the payscale in 2023, effective from July 1st of that year. However, the Civil Aviation Authority and its administration did not follow their own rules and authority. The trust fund, which was supposed to be maintained, was used inappropriately. Most of the members of the trust fund were also part of the pay and pension committee, creating a conflict of interest. The Ministry of Civil Aviation further explained that there was a structural problem, and incompetence within the system had severely impacted the organization.
The former Deputy Director, Anees Rehman, defended his stance by stating that he had served in Civil Aviation for 35 years. He claimed that federal government policies had been adopted by Civil Aviation, with the only difference being the basic pay; all other procedures followed federal government policies. He also mentioned the numerous changes within the organization since 2014.
Additionally, petitioner Mr. Haseeb Rehman presented his case, stating that for the past four years, 65% of his pension had been surrendered to the Civil Aviation Authority, and his pension interest exceeded what he actually received. Convenor, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, assured him that his problem would be resolved and urged the ministry to investigate the matter further.
The Convenor, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, emphasized that federal government policies could not be cherry-picked based on convenience; the system needed comprehensive regulation. Due to a lack of structured regulation, errors occurred in pension maintenance. He demanded written documentation of pension calculations before and after 2014 and urged the ministry officers to rectify the incompetent decisions made by the authorities. He questioned why these issues had not been investigated by the audit committee or other related committees.
In conclusion, the sub-committee unanimously decided to summon the board to the next meeting to address the concerns of the pensioners. The Convenor, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, stated that there could be no compromise on public pay and stressed the need to resolve the dichotomy of 2014.
The sub-committee meeting was attended by Senator Umer Farooq, Senator Faisal Saleem Rahman, and senior officials from the Ministry for Aviation Division.