As Balochistan smoulders, no one to run the province

Published: August 26, 2012
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The administration of Balochistan is in a decrepit state. PHOTO: FILE

The administration of Balochistan is in a decrepit state. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

The administration of Balochistan is in a decrepit state. While a large share of the blame is placed on ministers in absentia, the engine of governance, the bureaucracy, is also running on empty in the troubled province.

A comparison of District Management Group (DMG) officers posted in Punjab and Balochistan presents a skewed and problematic picture, with the former operating with hundreds of officers and the latter with only 26, The Express Tribune has learned.

As many as 287 DMG officers are working in Punjab whereas only 26 DMG officers are posted in various slots in Balochistan to deal with government business and assist political leadership in serving the masses.

According to available data, there are 466 sanctioned posts reserved for DMG officers ranging from BS-22 to BS-17 in the provincial administrative hierarchy of Punjab from assistant commissioners to chief secretary as per the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee (IPCC) formula.

In Balochistan there are 234 sanctioned posts reserved for DMG officers in BS-22 to BS-17 in the provincial administrative hierarchy to handle public affairs, enforce law and establish the writ of government in the province.

The allocation was made with the goal of achieving broader national objectives through national integration and cohesion among the federating units, a senior official said, requesting anonymity.

DMG numbers

There is one sanctioned post in BS-22 for the Chief Secretary (CS) to head the bureaucracy in Punjab where three senior DMG officers are currently posted, including CS Nasir Mehmood Khosa, Chairman Planning and Development, Aslam Javed and senior member on the Board of Revenue, Sami Saeed.

There is also one post in BS-22 in Balochistan for a CS, but the incumbent, Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, is posted in BS-21.

In BS-21, there are 16 total posts reserved for DMG officers in Punjab. Currently, 15 officers are already posted, leaving only one slot vacant.

In Balochistan, five posts in BS-21 are reserved for DMG officers, but only two have been filled. Three slots have been vacant for the past year.

As many as 66 posts have been reserved for DMG officers in BS-20 in Punjab.

There are 68 DMG officers posted in BS-20 working in the provincial civil administration, exceeding three from its quota reserved for other provincial cadres.

In Balochistan there are 23 posts reserved for DMG officers in BS-20, but only six officers are working, which leaves 17 posts vacant without any justification. In BS-19, there are 106 posts for DMG officers in Punjab and 66 have been filled.

In Balochistan, as many as 35 posts in BS-19 are reserved for DMG officers. Out of these, only one DMG officer has filled a seat. This leaves 34 seats vacated, with one man doing the job of 35. In BS-18, there are 205 sanctioned posts for DMG officers in Punjab according to the IPCC formula but 83 officers are currently working.

In Balochistan, there are 40 posts in civil administration reserved for DMG officers in BS-18 but only eight seats posts have been filled. The posts in BS-17 present a similar picture, as there are 72 reserved for DMG in Punjab and 52 have been filled.

In Balochistan, there are 125 posts in BS-17 reserved for DMG officers but only nine officers are working.

“The DMG has been taking the lion’s share of postings in different slots in Punjab,” a group of Provincial Civil Service (PCS) officers requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune.

The system in Punjab is quite different from that of the other three provinces, the PCS officers said. The officers claimed that even DMG officers from other provinces preferred to serve in Punjab due to the perks and privileges available in the province.

New policy

Taking serious notice of shortage of officers in Balochistan, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf issued a new rotation policy last Saturday.

Officers say they are reluctant to serve in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa despite lucrative packages offered by the federal government, owing to the prevailing unrest in those areas.

In Sindh, the provincial cadre dominates civil administration and DMG officers are not interested in posts of lesser importance.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (8)

  • afzal tarar
    Aug 26, 2012 - 3:41PM

    this is a nice and informative article by Mr.Anwar Sumra as he always writes clear and point blank.i m astonished to know the number of posts lying vacant in punjab which are reserved for dmg.if these posts are filled then where officers of pms will b posted? the seats for dmg must be rationalised and minimised for better governance.

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  • Muhammad Ashraf
    Aug 26, 2012 - 5:14PM

    Unfortunately, Baluchistan has never been on priority list of the Federal Bureaucracy dominated by the District Management Group. Despite strengthening the federation through coherently working in all the provinces, the DMG Officers only think of their personal interests and try to remain posted in Punjab by any means. Why is it so that 89% of the slots reserved for them in Baluchistan are vacant. On the other hand one cannot understand the rationale behind reserving 205 posts in BS-19 and 106 posts in BS-18 for 72 DMG Officers serving in BS-17 in Punjab. From the figures presented by the writer, it is quite evident that the national interest of Pakistan is totally unknown to this group. In fact they are equally responsible for the present crisis of Baluchistan. Even at this critical time they are asking for guarantees to serve in this troubled province. Given their self centered logic and approaches, the DMG has ceased to be a federal service rather they may be renamed as the Central Punjab Civil Service. From the picture depicted by Mr. Anwar Samraa, it can be said without any doubt that the Federal Bureacracy has weakened the federation instead of strengthening it. The Chief Executive of the country should take notice of the situation, and bring about radical changes in the structure and functioning of bureaucracy before it is too late.

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  • Shahid
    Aug 26, 2012 - 8:54PM

    After 18th Amendment, DMG has no role in province’s administration. Provincial service has now replaced DMG and Balochistan PCS Executive Group is doing its job well and in extreme law and order conditions. Balochistan issue doesn’t belong to the posting of DMGs, its a purely political issue. The article has not taken various serious issues into consideration except posting of DMG officers who have ruined the country’s administrative structure and is hated by masses.

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  • abid kalyar
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:35PM

    first of all i want appreciate the effort of Mr.Anwer Sumra for such a thought provoking and knowledgeable article.further i want to add that so called sanctioning of posts for DMG in each scale has no legal backing.as Moeen Qureshi formula of 1993 has not been approved by the competent authority

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  • Munib-ur-Rehman
    Aug 27, 2012 - 4:15PM

    The article is based on concrete and solid information. The analysis is objective and impartial. it is purely unbiased and based of facts. The article shows broader vision of the writer and his deep understanding of the bureaucratic set up to run the affairs of the province.

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  • Shahid
    Aug 27, 2012 - 4:26PM

    IPCC formula that confer irrational number of posts to DMG has actually no locus-standi in legal or judicious terms. The arrangement is simply a wiked move by DMG to usurp the important provincial posts at the cost of PMS Officers who after the 18th ammendment are the rightful contender of such posts. Still the writer deserves appreciation for highlighting the plight of Baluchistan and for courageously pointing out one of the culprits who dragged this province to its present sorry state.

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  • Munib-ur-Rehman
    Aug 27, 2012 - 4:27PM

    The article is very informative and interesting. It is purely of academic nature and having no element of bias. the article shows the mature understanding of bureaucratic set up in the provinces. It shows the vision of the writer regarding assessment of issues provinces are facing and the challenges for the administration.

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  • Nawaz
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:51AM

    Very objective article.

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