The Central Selection Board (CSB), in its February meeting, had recommended the promotion of 45 officers of the Pakistan Administrative Services Group (formerly DMG group) from Grade-20 to Grade-21.
However, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the promotion of only 26 officers and returned the cases of 19 officers, advising that the promotion be decided according to the Supreme Court’s judgment.
The seats are expected to remain vacant till new recommendations by the CSB.
According to sources, the premier, while returning the cases, told the Establishment Division that he did not find the board recommendations reasonable.
He said he could not accept these recommendations because he felt that only officers with the best reputation should be promoted in the public interest. The premier’s action has raised questions about the role and effectiveness of the selection board.
It may be recalled that the selection board had ignored a few officers in its last meeting. On the other hand, the meeting of military commanders – held on the same day to consider the promotion of brigadier rank officers – had drastically reduced the number of candidates promoted so that only the best officers got promotions. The prime minister liked this approach.
Those who were not promoted include Sajjad Bhutta, Manzar Hayat, Lala Fazalur Rehman, Ahmed Yar Khan, Zulqurnain Aamir, Naveed Kamran, Iqbal Bablani, Aftab Manika, Aslam Hayat, Javed Nisar, Imran Afzal Cheema, Mian Ejaz, Abdul Jalil, Farooq Ahmed Khan, Athar Hussain Siyyal, Rashid Bashir Mazari, Saqib Aleem and Mukhtar Hussain.
The promoted officers include Yasmir Masood, Ali Ranjha, Rizwan Bashir, Aftab Habib, Tariq Masood, Ali Zaheer Hazara, Shujat Ali, Oria Maqbool Jan Abbasi, Mohsin Haqqani, Ejaz Ali Khan, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Zahid Saeed, Shahid Tarar, Hammad Owais Agha, Altaf Aizd, Shah Sahab, Arbab Arif, Seema Najeeb, Hasan Iqbal, Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, Muzaffar Mehmood, Allah Bakhsh, Younus Dhaga, Shumail Ahmed Khawaja, Misbah Tonio and Tipu Mahabat.
It has been learnt that the government has decided to implement effective reforms for the appointment and demotion of public servants in the interest of good governance. As the civil bureaucracy has the responsibility to ensure government’s efficiency, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has decided to begin by implementing reforms in this sector.
Civil servants are selected through a competitive examination called the CSS, which is conducted by the Public Service Commission of Pakistan. The only basis for promotion in this system is seniority, while traits like quality of service, innovation and personal character are seldom taken into account.
Government departments can promote their officers internally up to Grade-19; however, the CSB – chaired by the prime minister – decides promotion to Grade-20 and above. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has returned the 18 cases of promotion for review and decision on the basis of integrity, ability, skills and efficiency.
The PM is of the view that promotions should not be made only on the basis of seniority; rather the officers should also be evaluated for their efficiency through a proper system similar to that of Pakistan Army. He thinks that the civil bureaucracy should also adopt a similar system.
It has also been learnt that the PM has expressed displeasure at the promotions awarded on the basis of ‘recommendations’. The premier’s decision creates hope that the era of good governance will at last begin as the government wants to take forward really qualified and able officers for the service of the nation.
The prime minister – while addressing civil servants at the Foreign Office last year – had clearly stated that the superiority of the elite was no longer acceptable now and the actual purpose of any government job was to serve the citizens.
This is why the government is seriously introducing reforms in the civil service in which efficiency, training and suitable competition will be kept in view. These reforms will be introduced at every level. Now every public employee will have to concentrate on improving his efficiency.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2014.
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