ISLAMABAD, Sept 11: The employees of head office and regional centres of National Book Foundation (NBF) could not get their salaries for the month of August even on the 11th of this month.
On the other hand management of the NBF gives an amazing reason for delay in salaries.
They claim that the workers are not doing enough to sell books of the foundation so they have withheld their salaries for the time being to make them active and beneficial, Dawn has learnt.
Officials of NBF requesting not to be quoted said that the employees at regional offices and sale points at different airports, railway stations and other places were in severe financial problems because of delay in release of their salaries.
An officer said: “management has been forcing us to sell the influential personalities books published by the NBF, though people are not interested in purchasing them,” he said.
“During Ramazan and Eid, people do not prefer to buy books but still employees tried their best to sell the books. We cannot convince the people to buy costly books of politicians and writers,” he said.
A sales representative of NBF on condition of anonymity said: “Management seems to be more interested in selling MD NBF’s book but we hardly get any buyer. We have purchased some books from our salary and given them as gift to our relatives. We cannot purchase all books,” he said.
An officer of NBF said that there are 90 employees in head office and 120 in regional offices and all of them have been without their salaries.
“Ministry of Finance has released Rs16 million budget for first quarter but management has stopped the salary and there is a possibility that money would be used some where else.
NBF should be given under the control of some ministry to stop embezzlements,” he said.
If MD and management has failed to get results from staff they should resign rather than stopping the salary, he said.
Secretary NBF, Aftab Soomro while talking to Dawn said that management had deliberately stopped the salaries of the staff because they were inefficient and lazy.
“We wrote them many letters to increase the sale of the books but they have not done anything. In Larkana, books worth Rs35,000 were sold last month but expenses of centre were ten times more,” he said.
“We have closed the sales outlets in D.I. Khan and Bannu but other staff has to work. We are considering issuing the staff another warning letter,” he said.