ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi has directed Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to immediately pay the welfare grant to a retired employee`s special child from the date of its discontinuation .
According to the Presidency, the president ordered the authority to initiate disciplinary proceedings against delinquent officials who had stopped the welfare grant despite the fact that the grant had been issued for life after fulfilling the required criteria.
While accepting a representation of Syed Noor Ali Zaidi (the complainant) against Wafaqi Mohtasib`s decision, the president said that the delinquent officials caused an embarrassing situation, not only for the family of a retired employee but also for Wapda by unjustly stopping the welfare grant to a person with disability (PWD) who had been declared unemployable for life and was totally dependent on his parents.
Alvi said the authority should contact the Ministry of Human Rights, which had a definite programme to teach more than 50 skill sets to persons with disabilityand later link them to possible employers.
He said on such issues, it was the responsibility of institutions like Wapda to guide person with disability, take social responsibility, and ensure that they become employable. The complainant had alleged before Wafaqi Mohtasib that he was a special child of a retired employee of Wapda, that a medical board had declared him unemployable for life and recommended him for Wapda Welfare Fund (WWF) under the rules.
According to him, he was getting the welfare grant regularly until he attained the age of 21 when Wapda struck his name off from the WAPDA medical treatment book.
On this act of Wapda, he had approached Wafaqi Mohtasib, who passed the order that the authority did not commit any maladministration as the complainant was 30 years of age and was not entitled to the free medical facility and welfare grant, as per rules.
Later, the complainant brought the matter to the notice of the President by filing a representation against the Mohtasib`s order.
The Presidency`s official press release said, President Alvi in his decision observed that a few key facts had escaped the notice of the Wafaqi Mohtasib, which established that the complainant was entitled to the welfare grant.
He pointed out that the complainant had been declared by Wapda`s own medical board as `deaf and dumb since birth`, `unemployable for life` and `totally dependent on his parents` in 1996. He further observed that the managing committee of WWF had sanctioned a welfare grant for life for the complainant in 1996.
The president referred to WWF rules which ensured the provision of welfare grants to special children of Wapda employees subject to the provision of medical certificates. He said that National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) had also issued a CNIC to the complainant depicting him as a `person with disability for life`.
The president concluded that the welfare grant was issued to the complainant as per rules and the question that who decided to stop the welfare grant and why needed to be investigated. He rejected the order of Wafaqi Mohtasib and directed the authority to immediately pay the welfare grant to the complainant from the date of discontinuation.
Acknowledgement: Published in Daily Dawn on 7 January 2024