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January 15, 2020

Cabinet’s command to employ 129,301

Top Story

January 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday issued directives to the ministries and divisions to complete the process of recruitment on 129,301 vacant posts within four months.

Briefing media persons here on decisions of the federal cabinet meeting, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said no public sector employee would be removed as the government was committed to provide employment to the jobless, not to make them jobless. She said 2020 would be the year of jobs creation. The prime minister directed the ministries and divisions to dispose of all the cases of civil servants pending for the last 30 years as per rules and regulations, penalty measures, seniority, promotions and other matters within the period of three months. He gave the directions after a briefing in which it was told that 106,343 cases of employees were pending in the ministries and divisions for the last three decades.

Dr Firdous said the meeting was also informed that 37 million items, including 6,000 official vehicles, of various government departments had been worn out, but no practical steps had been taken to dispose them of. The prime minister tasked the PM’s Delivery Unit to pursue all the relevant ministries to resolve all the pending cases within 45 days.

Dr Firdous said the federal cabinet gave approval to the proposal for structural and organisational reforms of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. It noted that restructuring of the ministry was imperative to fulfill the government’s vision of correcting the imbalance in technical and administrative positions from existing 80 percent staff having no health background to 70 percent technical staff and 30 percent administrative ones. In line with the best international practices, she said, the cabinet approved in principle to change the name of ministry to the Ministry of Health and Population. As part of the reforms, a completely new organogram had been evolved, with key positions filled by technical experts alongside civil servants in high administrative positions that would foster an enabling role for the ministry to function effectively and transparently, she added. A new cadre for health among the Civil Services of Pakistan was approved by the cabinet, under which civil servants would be trained for the newly reformed Health Ministry, further enhancing its performance, the SAPM said. Dr Firdous said the cabinet also gave approval for launching inquiry against five homeopathic colleges. Steps were being taken to adopt best international practices in the homeopathic sector and the ministry would take concrete measures in that regard, she added.

She said the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) briefed the cabinet that in future there would be no need to get a no-objection certificate (NoC) for building high-rise buildings near airports, which would help attract investment from overseas Pakistanis. Dr Firdous said the Power Ministry presented a plan to the cabinet, under which the electricity consumers would soon get relief in bills.

She said the allied parties of the PTI were part of the government and would remain so in future too and their reservations will be addressed. She said the MQM-P leaders had presented all their concerns to the committee led by Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, which had been conveyed to the prime minister. The special assistant said Prime Minister Imran Khan had already given a package of Rs162 billion for Karachi and it was now time for its implementation and then transferring its benefits to the grassroots level.

The SAPM said the ailing leaders of the PML-N were staying at home instead of being hospitalised, meeting with former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, and sometimes also found at a five-star hotel having dinner with their family in London. She said the Sharif family had been given 48 hours to present a report on the health condition of Nawaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, the federal government placed the names of PML-N Vice President, Maryam Nawaz and MNA Javed Latif on the Exit Control List (ECL) on the recommendations of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that is conducting inquiries against both of them in corruption cases, sources told The News. “The name of Maryam Nawaz has been placed on ECL in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case while Javed Latif’s name has been included in this list on the basis of an ongoing inquiry against him in assets beyond means of income case being pursued by the NAB,” the sources said.

The sources said the federal cabinet gave approval to put names of Maryam Nawaz and Javed Latif on the ECL when a letter sent by the NAB Lahore to the federal Interior Ministry was presented before the cabinet members in which the anti-corruption watchdog recommended that these two accused should be placed on the ECL. In its letter, the NAB maintained that Maryam Nawaz is an accuse in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case with her father Nawaz Sharif and investigation into alleged money-laundering against them is underway. It also expressed apprehensions that Maryam Nawaz may fly abroad to avoid investigation against her. The sources said the timing of placing name of Maryam Nawaz on the ECL is important as the Lahore High Court (LHC) would hear her plea today (Wednesday) in which she has challenged placement of her name on the ECL in Al-Azizia reference.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed strong displeasure when a report of beneficiaries disqualified from the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) database was presented to him. Sources familiar with the matter told the media that the premier has directed the concerned authorities to make public the names of government employees who were involved in the fraud. “We will not let anyone plunder the right of the poor. Let the names of officers involved in the matter be known,” he added.

In particular, the government has decided to take action against government officers of BSP 17-21 who were among beneficiaries of the BISP. Show cause notices were issued to BSP-17 beneficiaries. Those government officers and their family members had been benefiting from the BISP for nine years.

As many as 2,543 senior officers were removed from the BISP list and officials from Balochistan and Sindh had received the largest amounts through the programme. Overall, three officers of grade 21 and 59 officers of grade 20 quarterly received the sum under the programme whereas 429 officials of grade 19 were also among the beneficiaries. Similarly, 342 officers of grade 18 from Sindh and 1,240 officers of grade 17, overall, derived advantages from the scheme.

Out of total 820,165 beneficiaries disqualified from the BISP database, 14,730 were government employees or servants of Railways, Post Office and even the BISP programme, as the aid was not meant for government servants. According to the data, 127,826 were those whose spouses were government employees or employees of the above-mentioned departments.

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