Usmani curtails powers of Hajj Ministry high ups
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some officials of the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs on Monday criticised their new minister Faiz Mohammad Usmani for curtailing powers of the secretaries, directors and other high-ranking officials at the ministry.
Abdul Hakim Muneb, a secretary at the ministry, said most of their powers had been curtailed after the arrival of the new minister. He said some officials had been removed from their positions.
The minister through a letter No. 3561has stripped some secretaries and directors of their powers and sacked others.
The letter says orders from the ministry should not be dispatched to the public and private sector institutions without the minister’s or secretary’s signature.
It said removal, transfer and hiring of employees would be referred to the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Services Commission (IARCSC) after the orders of minister.
The issuance of financial types of orders had been brought under the jurisdiction of office of minister and it had been termed mandatory that a copy of such financial transaction should be kept at the minister’s office in order to keep the financial matters transparent.
The process of Hajj related affairs, scrutiny of religious affairs, related contracts, conduct of MoUs and other affairs had the sole responsibility of the office of minister, the letter said.
According to the fresh orders, the secretaries were responsible to address legal affairs of the ministry after consultation with the minister.
Munib said the newly elected minister in his initial letter had ordered that secretaries of the ministry should discuss the issue with minister and then sign the paper.
He said secretaries and directors did not have the authority to sign papers without the consent of minister. He expressed concerns that hiring, removal or transfer of employees were the responsibility of the secretaries and directors and did not belong to minster.
He expressed concerns over recent changes and accused the new minister for removal of some officials. He alleged the minister executed orders without consultation with the president.
Munib said Abdul Malik Rezai, director of mosques, Usman Hameedi, Hajj related affairs in-charge in Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim Rabani, head of the minister’s office, Karamatullah Sidiqui, research and investigative director and five other officials had been sacked without citing any valid reason.
Qualified and deserving professionals should have been hired to replace the sacked officials, he said, adding but inexperienced individuals were hired instead.
He said high level security had been provided to the newly elected officials while transportation and salaries for 12 more people had been issued from the budget of the ministry.
Maulvi Abdul Malik Ziaee, former director of mosques, said he had been appointed to the position in 2011 through an open competition and termed his removal unfair.
“I have high qualification in the field of administration but the newly elected minister is illiterate and could not afford to see his subordinates competent than him,” he remarked.
But Zahiruddin Idrees, secretary of the Hajj and Religious Affairs Minister, said the official letter No. 3561 was issued temporally before the trip of minister to the US.
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