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March 13, 2020

PMS asks PM Imran to withdraw all chief secretaries

Top Story

March 13, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Taking extreme position, the Provincial Management Service (PMS) – the leading provincial service — from all the federal units has approached Prime Minister Imran Khan demanding that all the incumbent chief secretaries be withdrawn and replaced with provincial civil servants to be appointed by the respective provincial governments.

Following a meeting of the All Pakistan PMS Officers Association held last week, the Association’s Coordinator Tariq Mahmood Awan wrote a letter to the prime minister highlighting that under the scheme of the Constitution it’s the chief minister’s authority to appoint a chief secretary and not of the Establishment Division, Islamabad.

“Thus, notifications of Establishment Division of posting of all four Chief Secretaries be withdrawn being unconstitutional and against law and only respective provincial governments may be allowed to post Chief Secretaries belonging to the Provincial Service as per scheme and spirit of the constitution,” the letter reads.

The PM is conveyed that the whole scheme of constitution clearly explains that exercising federal executive authority in matters of provinces is a violation of the constitution. The letter adds that the posting of chief secretary by the Establishment Division is tantamount to exercising provincial executive authority and legislative authority and a violation of the constitution.

The Association underlined that Article 139 defines conduct of business of provincial government and empowers the provincial governments to make rules of business.

“For example in Punjab rules of business, 2011 rule 2(9) explains ‘Chief Secretary’ means the officer notified as such in the gazette, and includes ACS in S&GAD and rule 2(1) ‘Gazette’ means the official gazette of the government of the Punjab. It clearly defines that the post of Chief Secretary is exclusively a provincial post and not a federal, common, foreign or any other type.”

The letter added that terms and conditions of the post of Chief Secretary with financial composition is determined by respective provincial governments. The Chief Secretary, it added, is the Chief implementer of the policies of Chief executive of the province and provincial assembly. The PMS Officers Association said the post of Chief Secretary falls under the legislative control of the respective provincial assembly.

“It simply means that the executive authority of the province shall extend to the matters where the provincial assembly has the authority to make laws. It clarifies that the post of Chief Secretary falls under the provincial executive authority being post of the province.”

Referring to Article 129, the Association said, “The executive authority of the province shall be exercised by the provincial government, consisting of the Chief Minister and Provincial Ministers and Chief Minister may exercise it directly or through the provincial Ministers.”

The letter said the chief minister of the province has all the legal and constitutional authority to post chief secretary of a province.