State-run enterprises: PTI govt to attract private sector experts

Tasks PM aide with identifying hurdles to appointing professionals in state-run units

Zafar Bhutta May 28, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government is working on a plan to amend the law to attract professionals from the private sector for appointment in different state-run enterprises.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the government had tasked Adviser to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Husain to identify the factors hindering the hiring of competent professionals from the private sector and present his recommendations.

The PM aide, who was part of a selection committee constituted for appointing members of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), pointed out that recommendations had been made purely on merit but talent from the private sector could not be attracted merely through local advertisements.

Officials said experts in the field usually did not respond to the advertisements and through headhunting such talent could be attracted from the private sector. Unfortunately, existing laws do not allow appointments through headhunting or international advertisements.

It was suggested that required changes should be made in the Companies Act and corporate governance rules. The law minister and the Establishment Division would assist the PM aide in the exercise.

The selection board had recommended names of candidates from the public sector. However, MP scales were introduced to attract professionals from the private sector.

The selection board recommended the appointment of Dr Bahrawar Jan and Ayyazuddin as member national accounts and member census and survey respectively in the PBS.

Posts of members (MP-11 scale) were advertised to invite applications from professionals that fulfilled the criteria. Applications received for the posts were shortlisted by the committee.

Twenty applications were received for the post of member national accounts and six candidates were shortlisted. Similarly, 23 professionals applied for the post of member census and survey and four were shortlisted.

In response to the advertisement, 34 applications were received and eight candidates were shortlisted for the post of member economics and statistics.

The selection board had been notified by the Establishment Division to hire the professionals. Ishrat Husain was co-opted for interviews of the shortlisted candidates.

After conducting interviews, the selection board recommended a panel of principal and alternative candidates for posts of member national accounts and member census and survey.

The government has approved the appointment of PBS members in MP-11 scale for four years from the date of joining or till reaching the age of 65. In case the principal candidate fails, an alternative candidate would be offered to join as the member.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2020.

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