Teachers demand timely rental payment

Islamabad : The college teachers of Islamabad Capital Territory have expressed disappointment over excessive delay in payment of their rental ceiling as well as discrimination in the assessment of the rents of their hired houses.
According to an official source, the authorities are unable to release payments of the rental ceiling to the owners of houses that have been pending for over a year. Moreover, in many cases, the assessed rent by the hiring committee of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) is below the rental ceiling of the teachers. The landlords usually hover on the nerves of the teachers and repeatedly demand for early payments which gives the teachers a strong psychological upset.

Consequently, teachers are compelled to borrow money either from relatives and friends or the banks to pay the rent. A lecturer at a local college on the condition of anonymity said, Public money is misused on the fake repair of furniture, vehicles and on different false purchases every year but there is always no budget to pay the rental ceiling to the teachers. Owners of the houses are threatening the teachers of eviction if rent is not paid timely.

The concerned authority should come forward to address the issue of the backlog of unpaid rent that has accrued during the last one year, he demanded. Another lecturer who managed to purchase a house in sector E-17 with his hard-earned money and after getting loans from his relatives said, I fulfilled the entire requirement for hiring a house. The covered area of my house was even more than the required area but the rent assessment committee of FDE assessed the rent below my ceiling fixed by the government.

I was maltreated by the FDE rent assessment committee which fixed my rental ceiling one category below and denied the rightful privilege”. “On the other hand, my counterparts in other government departments have been receiving the rent of their houses situated in the same sector according to their rental ceiling. This is sheer discrimination to me. I have no access to higher authorities to seek justice and fair play”, the lecturer said.

When contacted, the President of the Federal Government College Teachers Association Dr. Rahima Rahman said the payment of the rental ceiling is not made smoothly and is delayed by months. As a result teachers pay rents to landlords from their own pockets or from arranging money in the shape of loans. Contrary to that, employees working in ministries and other government departments never faced any difficulty in availing themselves of the house-hiring facility.

They always get payment well in time and according to their rental ceiling and covered area of the house but unfortunately in the case of teachers, there are different standards. Some of our teachers are not being paid according to their ceiling and covered area because the rent assessment committee of FDE has contrived its own inspection procedure of approving or disapproving of the rental ceiling. She further said, Teachers have been deprived of their due rights and fair demands but despite their efforts, they are unheard of and are facing a continued struggle.

What performance can the government expect from a teacher who is always a victim of such perils? The new government should take notice of this and adopt a strategy for clearing the rental ceiling on time to the teachers. She urged the authorities to pay the rental ceiling immediately to facilitate the teachers.