Locally contracted staffers at Pakistan’s Embassy in Washington remained without salary for several months as the embassy reportedly ran out of funds to pay them.
The contractual employees, who are locally hired, are paid out of the Pakistan Community Welfare (PCW) fund. Money for this fund is collected through locally offered services, said a report in Jang by Wajid Ali Syed.
The reason for the delayed payment of salaries was that this fund ran out last year as reserves were diverted towards the Covid-19 response, which included purchasing medical equipment. Hence the embassy had to borrow from other sources to pay the salaries.
The issue had persisted since August 2021 this year and at least five locally recruited employees had been facing delays in their monthly payments.
The wages of these employees ranged from $2000 to $2500, which is the bare minimum salary in the US. The workers were not being given any additional perks such as health benefits.
The Ambassador finally intervened upon the request of the unpaid staffers and asked the Foreign Office for funds to make the payments, which were delivered.
The Spokesperson of the embassy said, “while we always endeavour to disburse salaries to our staff on time, there are instances when due to longer than usual time in the processing of remittances from Pakistan and certain budgetary constraints, results in delay in disbursement of salaries to the staff”.