Govt likely to act against Punjab DC's for complaining to CEC

LAHORE: The Punjab government intends to take strict disciplinary action against the two deputy commissioners (DCs) for violating rules of business by writing letters to the chief election commissioner (CEC) and releasing them to the media complaining about political meddling in official affairs.

Sources in the Punjab government say an inquiry report into Chakwal DC’s writing of a letter to the CEC, Supreme Court and the chief secretary about alleged political interference by a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNA in official working has been received by the government. Now the government is waiting for the report about a similar act by the Rajanpur DC.

“If both deputy commissioners are found breaking the chain of command, strict disciplinary action will be taken against them,” a senior official told Dawn.

The official said a DC’s act of writing a letter to the CEC was breaking of a chain of command. The Pakpattan district police officer was also transferred owing to misstatement of facts to senior officials, the official claimed.

About senior minister Aleem Khan’s assertion that political bosses could not give a free hand to the bureaucracy to act on its own and that they would interfere to establish writ of the government, sources said the bureaucracy was now asking the political government to devise a policy, hold a debate in the cabinet and take a consensus decision about transfer and posting of officials.

Second cabinet meeting in a week to be held today

Until a formal policy is devised, senior officials say that any order of transfer and posting would be considered “picking and choosing” and warrant a justification.

“The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) officials have identified a number of officials, who came on a three-year deputation but stayed for eight to 14 years, and the minister wants to remove them,” the official disclosed.

In line with the government’s strategy to bring issues to the cabinet for debate, the official said a presentation would be given by the ACE director general to the cabinet on Saturday (today).

“If the cabinet agrees that all officials crossing their three-year deputation tenure should be sent packing, the action will be taken in no time,” the official said.

Regarding implementation of transfer orders of senior bureaucrats working in Punjab, an official concerned said the Punjab government would relieve all bureaucrats transferred from Punjab in a matter of days.

To a question about the Sindh government not accepting senior officials and instead asking them not to relinquish their charge, the official said the matter concerned the federal government that relieved the officials. “The Punjab government will comply with the federal government’s transfer and posting orders in letter and spirit,” the official stated.

CABINET MEETING: The Punjab government is holding its second cabinet meeting in a week on Saturday (today) and plans to merge the Punjab specialised healthcare and medical education as well as primary and secondary health departments into one.

The former Punjab government had bifurcated the health department in October 2015.

The administrative secretaries of both departments are scheduled to make a presentation to the cabinet and seek approval for the merger. The cabinet also plans to accord ex-post facto approval for its standing committees on finance and development, and legislative business. It will also approve constitution of steering committee and sub-committees for the prime minister’s 100-day agenda.

The cabinet is also set to discuss a suo motu case regarding utilisation of large vehicles by ministers/officers beyond their entitlement. It will also discuss appointment of former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police inspector general Nasir Durrani as chairman of the Federal Commission on Police Reforms as well as the commission members’ appointments.

The cabinet will be given briefings by the transport secretary about Orange Line Metro Train project, the specialised healthcare and medical education secretary on Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute, the energy secretary about energy projects, the industries and commerce secretary on public sector companies, the ACE director general on the working, performance and issues in the establishment and the local government and community development secretary about proposed amendments to the local bodies system.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018

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