ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved Rs60.606 million additional funds for the National Commission for the Human Rights (NCHR) after the Ministry of HR complained about inadequate allocation of funds in the budget for the ongoing fiscal year.

In a summary to the ECC, the Ministry of Human Rights stated that during the current financial year 2022-23, an amount of Rs83 million has been allocated to the NCHR, which is insufficient to meet their expenses. Therefore, additional funds of Rs60.606 million have been demanded by the NCHR for the current fiscal year 2022-23, which mainly includes an expenditure of Rs55.606 million for the recruitment of staff and Rs5 million to meet the shortfall during this financial year for operational expenses.

The ECC was further stated that due to allocation of limited funds during the current fiscal year, the NCHR is facing a shortage of funds under employees’ related expenditure (ERE). As a result of shortage of fund under ERE, the NCHR is unable to fill the 105 vacant posts. The financial implications to fill the vacant posts have been worked out to be Rs55.606 million. The ministry added in the summary that the NHCR was ordered by the High Court dated 24-10-2022 to establish a complaint cell in the Adiala Jail.

When Finance Division was approached, it was of the view that since NCHR has yet to start recruitment process against 105 vacant positions, the demand of the supplementary grant is on the higher side and have; therefore, agreed to provide Rs10 million as a supplementary grant. The Finance Division indicated that the remaining amount will he considered after utilisation of funds and on a need basis.

However, the Ministry of Human Rights told the ECC that it differs with the views of the Finance Division and proposes to allocate the total amount of Rs60.606 million as supplementary grant to the NCHR to make them fully operational in order to enable them to discharge their operational duties as per their assigned mandate.

The meeting of the ECC was also informed that the NCHR Act, 2012, provides for the establishment of the NCHR, for the purposes of promotion and protection of human rights as provided for in the Constitution of the country and the various international instruments to which Pakistan is a state party or will become a state party.