More than half the mid-career District Management Group (DMG) officers from Punjab serving at key posts in the province have not served in other provinces, which is a violation of the Establishment Division’s rotation policy.
According to the Transfer, Posting and Deputation Policy under Chapter III of Estacode, the Establishment Division, after consultation with the provincial governments, approved a rotation policy whereby all DMG officers must serve in at least two provinces and the federal government during their careers. DMG officers in BS-17 and 18 must serve at least five years, including the period of probation and training, out of their home province, while DMG officers in BS-19 and BS-20 must serve three years. The aim of the policy was to “achieve the broader national objectives of national integration and cohesion”.
But of the 170 DMG officers serving in the Punjab, around 90 have not served in other provinces and have been working in the Punjab since their induction as civil servants, an official told The Express Tribune. Many of them also spent their training period in the Punjab, which is also a violation of policy. These officers include 35 in BS-18, 67 in BS-19 and 68 in BS-20 and they serve as administrative secretaries, divisional commissioners, special secretaries, district coordination officers, director generals in various authorities, and additional secretaries and staff officers to the chief minister.
Establishment Division Secretary Taimoor Azmat Osman acknowledged the policy violation and said that the officers in question would be transferred next week.
A senior DMG officer said that Punjab was the most attractive province for posting. He said that most officers did not want to serve in Balochistan or Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa in view of security concerns in the two provinces. In Sindh, he said, senior postings in the civil administration were dominated by the Provincial Civil Service (PCS) of Sindh, leaving few attractive jobs for DMG officers.
He said that 60 per cent of DMG officers, selected out of those who passed the Central Superior Services (CSS) exams, were inducted from the Punjab. “If they don’t serve in the other provinces, there will definitely be a shortage of officers in these provinces,” he said.
He said that the aim of sending officers to serve outside their home province was so they would get experience of dealing with various ethnic and cultural groups. Also, having senior officers with experience of different parts of the country promoted national cohesion. He said that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in a famous address to civil servants, had emphasised that they were a symbol of the federation. He said that unlike in Sindh, where the PCS was strong, the PCS in Punjab was weak.
Provincial Civil Services
Punjab PCS officers alleged that biased DMG officers were holding up the promotion of provincial cadre officers, which had resulted in a large number of vacant posts. The chief secretary, a DMG officer, heads the provincial selection board. A majority of its members are also from the DMG, they said.
They said that the DMG dominated the top postings in the Punjab more so than in any other province. They said that even DMG officers from other provinces preferred to serve in the Punjab because there were better jobs and perks and privileges for them here.
PCS President Rai Manzoor Nasir said that they had demanded that the officers who had been serving exclusively in the Punjab be transferred immediately.
They include Ahad Cheema, Shehryar Sultan, Khalid Sherdil, Mujahid Sherdil, Rashid Mehmood, Farasat Iqbal, Imdadullah Bosal, Abdul Jabbar Shaheen, Jalal Sikandar Sultan Raja, Umar Rasool, Nabeel Awan, Saeed Iqbal Wahla, Nabeel Javed, Nadeemur Rehman, Rana Muhammad Arshad, Khalid Saleem, Muhammad Usman Anwar, Muhammad Aamir Jan, Ali Hussain Malik, Nasir Iqbal Malik, Yawar Hussain, Mahmood Hassan, Javed Akhtar Mahmood, Ahmed Aziz Tarar, Ali Jan Khan, Syed Haider Iqbal, Socrat Aman Rana, Moazzam Iqbal Sipra, Amer Aqiq, Mudassir Riaz Malik, Jawad Akram, Nadir Chattha, Sohail Ahmed, Khawar Kamal, Sardar Saifullah Dogar, Masood Mukhtar, Sajjad Zafar Dall, Nasir Mehmood Bukhari, Muhammad Jehanzeb, Babar Aman Babar, Dr Usman Ali Khan, Ahsan Bhutta, Ghulam Farid, Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Dr Wasif Khursheed, Iftikhar Sahoo, Ahmed Javed Qazi, Azmat Mehmood, Abrar Ahmed Mirza, Capt (r) Zafar Iqbal, Haroon Rafique, Hassan Iqbal, Asad Rehman Gilani, Ali Sarfaraz, Tariq Waqar Bukhshi, Capt (r) Asadullah, Capt (r) Muhammd Asif, Abduallah Khan Sumbal, Capt (r) Muhammad Mahmood, Ali Tahir, Waseem Mukhtar Chaudhry, Arif Anwar Baloch, Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry, Farhan Aziz Khawaja, Nadeem Irshad Kayani, Tahir Hussain, Dr Muhammad Ajmal, Capt (r) Saeed Ahmed Nawaz, Nasir Javed, Muhammad Khan Khichi and Jawad Rafiq Malik.
Jehanzeb Khan, the power secretary and president of the DMG Association, said that the policy should be followed strictly. “Postings in other provinces help officers to gain rich experience and improve their output,” he said.
Establishment Division Secretary Taimoor Azmat Osman said the federal government was introducing a new rotation policy and a summary in this regard had been submitted to the prime minister for approval. He said that the new policy would also require officers to service in other provinces. He said the new policy would be announced in the coming week and all officers who had not served in other provinces and had been serving in the Punjab since their induction would be transferred immediately.
He said that a large number of DMG officers posted in the Punjab had not served in other provinces.
Services and General Administration Secretary Jalal Sikandar Raja refused to comment on the matter.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2012.