Monday, 17 April 2006

AP Wakf Board politics

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 17: Bureaucratic one-upmanship in the State Wakf Board has severely affected its functioning in the past one month with the present special officer reversing some of the welfare decisions taken by his predecessor, including promotions to board employees.
In one go, special officer Muhammmad Shafeequzzama issued orders withholding promotions to as many as 28 employees given by previous special officer Syed Anwarul Huda since June last year. When Wakf employees raised a hue and cry, Shafeequzzama withdrew his orders. He, however, set a deadline of March 1, 2006 and all promotions given to employees after that date stand cancelled.
While 22 employees were promoted between June 2005 and February 28, six employees got promotions after March 2006. The six employees include two senior assistants (promoted as superintendents), one assistant engineer (executive engineer) and three assistant secretaries (promoted as deputy secretaries). Their promotions, given by Huda just before he demitted office, now stand cancelled.
"The promotions were against rules. So I have formed a three-member committee to look into the rules. Untill the committee gives its report, the promotions given from June 2005 to February 28, 2006 stands good. We will take a decision based on the panel's report. However, the promotions after March 1, 2006 stand cancelled as there are no posts of executive engineer and deputy secretary in the State Wakf Board," Shafeequzzama told this correspondent.
According to Wakf sources, the decisions taken by previous special officer, who belongs to IPS cadre) are being reversed now purely because of bureaucratic clash as the present incumbent belongs to IAS stream.
Even a purely welfare measure like grant of widow pensions has been stopped. The present officer has stopped issuing cheques even for the beneficiaries already selected by his predecessor.
In the absence of a full-fledged governing body for the Wakf Board, the country's richest Muslim endowment body, special officers have been ruling the roost, often reversing their own decisions. The board suffered huge financial loss in the past 20 months. Congress government has been postponing elections to the Wakf Board because of legal hurdles.

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