LG reforms to abolish posts of DCOs, EDOs
LAHORE: The impending restructuring of district administration in the wake of Local Government Act 2013 is set to deal another severe blow to the promotion prospects of Provincial Management Service (PMS) officers of Punjab as most of the posts in grade 18 and 19 will be abolished.
The Punjab Local Government Act 2013 envisages abolition of district governments and restoration of the local councils. This would mean that the office of the District Coordination Officer (DCO) along with the posts of around eight Executive District Officers (EDOs) in each district will be abolished. The posts of DCOs and EDOs of Finance & Planning and Community Development are shared by the PMS with the District Management Group (now re-designated as Pakistan Administrative Service). The DCO is likely to be replaced with grade 19 Deputy Commissioner.
However, there will be no replacement for the posts of EDOs. With the abolition of 72 posts of EDOs F&P and Community Development, the career prospects of PMS Officers will become further dark.
Earlier, 36 posts of EDO (Revenue) were also abolished which considerably delayed the promotions of PMS Officers. Many posts of grade 18 will also be abolished. The post of DCO, District Officer (HRM), Administrative Officers etc will be abolished. This will result in PMS Officers’ stay in grade 17 for 15 to 18 years and in grade 19 for 10 to 12 years. PMS Officers apprehend that majority of the officers will not be able to cross grade 18.
Though PAS and PMS Officers share the posts in the general cadre pool. However, due to the controversial seat-sharing formula of 1993, the axe always falls on PMS Officers. The seat-sharing formula, which the provincial services of all the provinces allege is illegal, gives inordinately large share to the PAS as compared to their cadre strength in various grades. PAS has the historical cadre strength of 150 officers in grade 18 in the entire country. However, due to larger share, they have got allocated for themselves around 350 posts of grade 18 in the country and in foreign missions. The result is that neither the PAS nor the PMS Officers are promoted against the 200 posts which have been allocated to PAS more than their actual number. Similar is the position of grade 19.
This bloated quota is the cause of miseries of the provincial services in the country. Except Balochistan services, where PAS officer avoid going due to security conditions, the provincial services of other provinces are reeling under the impact of the seat-sharing formula.
This formula deals a double whammy to the provincial services. On one hand, their promotion is delayed as long as 18 years in one grade due to fewer posts available, on the other, it gives room to PAS to post their officers on one grade higher posts on the plea that the seats of their quota are lying vacant.
The frustration of PMS Officers found an outburst when they took to the streets in 2010. Under the leadership of Rai Manzoor Nasir, this movement culminated in a strike and arrest of around 70 provincial officers who were put in jails.