134 top posts in 27 ministries still vacant

Top position of departments, companies right now held by acting in-charges


Zafar Bhutta September 29, 2019
PM Imran Khan. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Despite the clear direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, as many as 27 ministries and divisions appear reluctant to fill the top positions at 134 departments and companies. These positions are right now held by acting in-charges.

After coming into power, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had claimed that members of the board of directors of different corporations and departments were appointed on a political basis by the last Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.

The PTI government had decided to reconstitute these boards and started fresh hiring. But the new boards made no great difference.

For instance, the new board of directors of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) picked up a controversial candidate who was also selected by the previous board as head of the country’s largest company.

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The new board of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) also became controversial as it scrapped the process of appointment twice and has now advertised the post of managing director for the third time. Such practices by new boards are causing difficulties for the current government.

In a report submitted to the cabinet, the Establishment Division said 134 vacancies of chief executive officers (CEOs), managing directors (MDs), chairmen, DGs and heads of organisations in corporations, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies in 27 ministries and divisions had been identified.

As many as 15 ministries and divisions had, however, submitted their report as ‘Nil’.

The Establishment Division said the cabinet in its meeting held on August 9, 2019 sought a detailed report on existing vacancies of CEOs and MDs in ministries and divisions and their attached departments.
The division informed the cabinet that the cases for the appointment of heads, CEOS, and MDs were processed by the administrative ministries and divisions.

The Establishment Division is consulted only under Rule 11 (C) of Rules of Business, 1973 as the division is mandated to ensure effective implementation of the policies of the federal government regarding appointments in the federal government.

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In compliance with the cabinet division, all the ministries and divisions were requested to provide details of the vacant posts of the CEOs and the MDs in ministries, divisions and attached departments including the positions which were currently filled on a temporary and stop-gap basis.

The Establishment Division had analysed cases initiated by the administrative ministries and divisions for the grant of the additional and current charge of these positions and had requested all the ministries and divisions in the light of the cabinet division to fill the vacant positions on a regular basis at the earliest instead of resorting to any stop-gap arrangement.

The cabinet has reiterated its earlier directions for the immediate appointment of regular CEOs and MDs in all departments and institutions.  It has further directed that a list of officers and individuals who were holding a temporary charge of such positions shall be submitted to the cabinet after one month.

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