Sindh’s civil service officers allege mistreatment by PAS

Blame Centre’s service group for withheld promotions; PAS functionaries dispel all claims


Abdul Razzaq Abro December 05, 2020
PHOTO: APP/FILE

KARACHI:

Unjust treatment of officers in the provincial service cadre of the Sindh government has reportedly turned into a cause for indignation for the department’s employees.

Officers complain that despite qualifying and having significant experience behind them, many have been repeatedly diddled out of their due promotions.

Per official sources, at least nine meetings of the promotion board were convened during the course of the last one year. All of them, however, were either postponed without proceedings or resulted in the agenda for promotions of officers of the provincial bureaucracy being deferred.

The last meeting in this regard was convened on November 17, but it too remained unable to produce a relevant outcome.

According to the accusations levelled by an officer of the provincial civil service cadre, officers of the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS)-the Centre’s service group- have been sitting at the helm of Sindh’s affairs and are responsible for the growing indignation.

“PAS higher-ups have made a mockery out of the promotional process for the provincial civil service officers,” he claimed, requesting anonymity.

“It is the worst era for the bureaucracy. Despite the Sindh government making various reforms in the provincial civil service after the 18th Constitutional Amendment,

it appears the reins of the provincial bureaucracy are still in the hands of federal employees,” remarked another officer on conditions of anonymity.

PAS officers, however, categorically dismissed all impressions of them puppeteering the provinces or having anything to do with the situation in Sindh.

“PAS officers posted in the province are less than their official quota, for which there is a prescribed formula. Per this, 25 per cent of Grade-17 posts are to be filled by federal service officers in every province. Similarly, they are also to be given a 40 per cent share in Grade-18 posts, 50 per cent share in Grade- 19 posts, 60 per cent in Grade-20 posts, 65 per cent in Grade-21 and 100 per cent in Grade-22 posts. All postings should hence be made in compliance of this formula,” suggested a PAS officer on the basis of anonymity.

It is pertinent to mention here that two of the provinces’ highest offices - that of the chief secretary and the provincial police chief - are Grade-22 officers. Both are directly filled by the federal government, considering provincial governments have no authority in the regard.

All Pakistan Provincial Civil Services Association (APPCSA), a representative body of the provincial service officers, had raised this issue with all provincial governments recently. It had written letters to the provincial chief ministers in this regard, expressing the opinion that these offices are not constitutional offices like governors.

The body pointed out that these are purely provincial administrative offices and a provincial domain, and should therefore be filled by the provinces instead of the federal government.

According to Zahid Shar, an officer of the provincial civil service and APPCSA representative in Sindh, federal authorities have been citing a 1949 agreement in support of the formula being implemented in appointment of provincial bureaucracy.

“There is no official record available of the said agreement. Sindh, like every province, has its own service rules, which should be implemented. All those subjects that were abolished from the Federal Legislative List under the 18th Amendment stood transferred to the provinces,” said Shar.

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