BMA’s acting head flouts presidential decrees
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Bank-i-Millie Afghanistan (BMA) head, flouting an explicit presidential instructions, has dismissed 23 employees and appointed 40 new staffers, Pajhwok Afghan News has found.
Khisraw Zia, the executive director and head of finance, during his tenure as acting head of the bank, also transferred 14 officials and granted pay raise to 22 other bankers.
Document made available to this news agency show the salary of a newly-appointed employee ranges between 8,000 and 125,000 afghanis. The salaries of 18 employees were hiked in violation of relevant rules.
The documents say the transfers had been need-based. A staff shortage was triggered by resignations of some employees and dismissals of others due to the lack of interest negligence in discharging responsibilities.
Click here for documents and a letter in support of the claims
The presidential decrees, issued in October and November 2014, promoted deputy ministers and deputy directors of independent institution as acting ministers and acting directors.
The decrees clearly state acting officials could not appoint or fire employees until the appointment of full-time ministers and heads of independent commissions.
But Najia Anwari, media director of the administrative affairs department at the Presidential Palace, clarified the acting officials also did not have the power to increase or decrease salaries.
She said the presidential decrees did not explain things in detail, but according to their information, the acting bosses did not enjoy executive powers. The BMA head, trampling on the decrees, had issued executive orders, she acknowledged.
Khisraw Zia, acting head of the bank since the issue of the presidential decreesuntil now, argued he issued orders besides hiring and firingstaff to bring reforms and development to the BMA. The steps were also aimed to eradicate corruption and mismanagement, he insisted.
He acknowledged four provincial employees had tendered resignations, forcing the new appointments. Zia claimed the president had been informed about these developments.
In fact, he said, all stakeholders had been informed about the changes brought to the bank, including fresh appointments and increase in salaries of some officials.
“Banking activities are carried out in line with a clear system and there should be at least five core members dealing with the system. If the system faces any problem, in the absence of one member, others should be available. To prevent a possible crisis, we should take stepstoward urgent decision,” Zia maintained.
“The people, who shared documents and details with you, don’t have enough information about the banking law. The second thing is that we have many rivals who don’t want our bank to improve,” he remarked.
“The reforms which I brought about are not in conflict with the decree of the president. I know what the president expects from me and what I should do toward this end,” the acting head continued.
Recruitment, terminations, salary increments and transfers were decided in consultation with the shareholders when he was acting head of the bank and he exercised the bank chief executive’s authority, Zia said.
BMA is an independent government-run bank,in which the Ministry of Financeholds more than 97 percent shares. The remaining three percent shares are jointly owned by the Pushtani Bank, Afghanistan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), Kabul Municipality and Afghan Air Force.
After repeated calls from this scribe, the ministryspokesman, Ajma Hameed Abdul Rahimzai, declined commenting on the issue. He said the ministry appointed people purely on merit.
ARCS Development Department head Tayeb Yousufzaisaid they participated in the bank’s decision-making process. But the organisation’s representative did not agree with those transfers, increments and dismissals during last year’s meeting.
Pajhwok also tried to contact officials of the Kabul municipality, but they refused to comment on the issue.
As banking procedures are different from practices of other government institutions, remarks of BMA’s acting head might be correct to some extent. But his decisionson recruitment and dismissals were in violation of the presidential decree, believed an economics professor at Kabul University, Taj Mohammad Akbar.
“The presidential decree curtained the authority of an acting head to hire or fire bankers. The decree is applicable to all government departments,” he explained, saying the orders allowed transfers and grant of increments.
According to the documents, the five people who were recruited were relatives of Zia, including his cousin. However, Zia denied the allegation, saying none of his relatives had been appointed to the bank.
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