Act against `ghosts’ that haunt Pakistan: Daily

January 24th, 2012 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Jan 24 (IANS) It is more than mildly amazing that nobody noticed that nearly 10 percent of the Sindh government’s workforce are “ghosts”, said a Pakistani daily as it told authorities to think carefully about future recruitment policies as well as record keeping.

An editorial in the News International Tuesday said that stories of corruption on a massive scale are a commonplace, but some stand above the rest.

“One such is the revelation that out of 401,388 people on the payroll of the Sindh government over 40,000 are ‘ghosts’. This is about 10 percent of the workforce and it is more than mildly amazing that nobody has noticed this before,” it said.

Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri said the ‘ghosts’ cost the provincial exchequer around Rs.10 billion annually.

“These ghosts haunt the police, the education departments, population welfare departments and the offices of labour and manpower.

“Apart from the ‘ghost’ ghosts there are around 300 real ghosts, in that salaries have been paid to individuals who have been dead for years. Another 1,000 people have been discovered to have two government jobs,” the editorial said.

It went on to say that all of this “must have been common knowledge across provincial government departments for years, decades perhaps”.

“One might wonder at what would be revealed if there was a human resources audit in all the other provinces as well. Somewhat unusually, this is a problem that is quantifiable and should be relatively easy to fix.”

The editorial said that the ‘ghosts’ have names, and it is for the Sindh government to act immediately and stop paying monthly salaries against those names.

It added tongue-in-cheek: “The difficulty is likely to be that the ‘ghosts’ will not be too happy at finding their incomes terminated, in which event we may expect ghostly protests to be held outside government offices across the province.”

“Suffice for now just to plug the hole, stop the salaries of the ‘ghosts’ and think carefully about future recruitment policies and record keeping,” it said.

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