Days after the federal cabinet decided to fill over 129,000 vacant posts in the public sector, the government is having second thoughts due to its huge financial implication, a highly-placed source said.
Both the Prime Minister’s Office and the ministry of finance are considering not implementing the decision, a source privy to these discussions revealed yesterday.
The main reason for reviewing the decision is the financial implications on the budget and the already bloated size of the federal government.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan did not answer when asked if the government was reconsidering 10-day-old decision of the federal cabinet.
This month the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit had given a presentation to the federal cabinet on the status of recruitment rules, pending cases of seniorities, 129,301 vacant positions in the federal ministries and divisions, and 1,623 pending disciplinary proceedings against bureaucracy.
About 3,459 vacant positions have to be filled through the Federal Public Service Commission.
Briefing media persons after the federal cabinet meeting, Awan had said that no public sector employee would be removed as the government was committed to provide employment to the jobless, not to render them unemployed.
She said that 2020 would be the year of jobs creation.
Minutes of the cabinet meeting also confirmed that the cabinet had decided that all vacant positions in ministries, divisions or attached departments shall be filled in within 120 working days in a manner prescribed “except those which are either coming in restructuring process or meant for promotion”.
The federal cabinet had also directed the Establishment Division to expeditiously decide cases referred to it for vetting and approval for recruitment rules.
The Establishment Division was also asked to issue “No Objection Certificates” of the surplus pool.
However, the sources said the decision to fill posts had been taken without proper homework.
Neither the Establishment Division nor the finance ministry had moved the summary to the federal cabinet to fill these posts.
“The financial cost of filling 129,301 posts is more than Rs80bn a year. The decision to fill the posts must not be implemented, particularly when the size of the federal government is already bloated,” said former finance minister Dr Hafiz Pasha.
During the cabinet meeting, some cabinet ministers had also referred to the bloated size of the federal government, particularly when most of the subjects have been devolved to the provinces after the 18th amendment in the Constitution.
Pasha said the current economic conditions dictate that the government should downsize.
The sources said Dr Ishrat Husain, adviser to prime minister on institutional reforms, was also against the federal cabinet decision.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised to create 10mn jobs and construct 5mn homes during his government’s five-year term.
No progress could be made to achieve these two goals during past one and half year due to the government’s economic stabilisation policies.
Former finance secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan said on Friday that the government’s policies were primarily focused on building foreign exchange reserves that eroded 25% of industrial production in the past year.
He was speaking on the Express News programme, the Review Pakistan’s only economy and national security affairs prime-time show.
Masood Khan said that the current expenditures were increasing rapidly, and predicted that the budget deficit could hit Rs4tn, or 9% of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), on the back of a steep shortfall in the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) tax revenues.
The government had set the budget deficit target at 7.2% of the GDP, or Rs3.2tn.
In such a gloomy situation, the government decided to add Rs80bn more into the cost of running the civilian government.
The sources said the chances are very high that the Prime Minister’s Office would not push to implement the decision.
The premier is said to have already expressed his opposition to the decision.
In Prime Minister Khan’s cabinet, the implementation on public interest-related decisions largely remained low.
The cabinet was recently informed that out of total 79 initiatives that it approved, 41 had been fully or partially implemented.
The ratio of full or partial implementation was just 52%.
There were 36 decisions that were still under process, according to the briefing to the federal cabinet.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Pakistan halts Iran flights to prevent virus spread
Hundreds recently in Iran undergo checks
Pakistan confirms two cases of virus
Abbasi, Iqbal released from Adiala Jail
Extra measures taken in areas near Iran border
Sharifs protest over Bilawal’s remarks
Traditional music revived as security improves
PM inaugurates major drive for tree plantation
Emergency is declared in areas at border with Iran