LAHORE - Nothing is yet clear about rationalisation and right sizing as the Core Committee in Punjab have yet to finalise and submit its recommendations after consultation with the different Administrative Secretaries, TheNation has learnt.
Though the new law PLG 2013 has reversed devolution given in PLGO 2001but government wants decentralisation to resolve issues on local level.
What will be fate of provincial administration, its work force and possible merging of different departments after the Punjab Assembly adopted PLG 2013 as the Core Committee have yet to finalise its proposals after having presentations from different departments.
Though the Core Committee have been administering meetings on daily basis with different departments alongwith the Additional Chief Secretary in the chair, but it will take more time to finalise its recommendations and submit to the Commission specially notified to assess government structure, seat adjustments and how to increase administrative efficiency and shun mess, sources revealed.
“How the department can improve its function and working to increase its capacity to serve the masses, is the main point of presentations the Administrative Secretaries have been giving to the Committee,” a source disclosed.
“The Committee took presentations from different Administrative Secretaries on the issue of rationalisation, right sizing and restructuring in the first phase then it invited two departments for the same job to pace up its rhythm,” said an insider ,adding, it will further take some time to complete the job. Planning & Development Department, Local Government & Community Development Department and Finance Department are the permanent members of the Committee which deliberate on restructuring of different tiers in wake of new Local Government Bill 2013.
The Commission established in June this year headed by Justice (Retd) Amir Raza Khan will take up the issue and give final recommendations. Initially it was given two months to complete its job but owing to complexity of the job of assessing administration it could not come upto the expectations.
“The Commission will finally study the proposals forwarded by the Committee and may recommend slashing in about 0.8 million government employees serving in different departments and autonomous bodies,” a top bureaucrat opened his mind. It was complained that the public departments face issues like overstaffing, low efficiency and don’t bother to serve the tax payer masses. The government had to constitute a Commission to address such things. What will be the district hierarchy after restoration of District Magistracy system, the establishment of district education and health authorities and many more such things that evolved from replacing PLGO 2001 with the PLG 2013, he inquired.
After 18th amendment, the Federation gave more subjects to the provinces, so they would demand more employees to run those devolved departments, an official told. He said that there would be least slashing in the staff. He said that the only Agriculture Department has offered to surrender its seats but the manpower will be adjusted. He said that the Committee may finalise its findings in October and submit to the Commission.
The Commission will analyse government functioning in wake of PLG 2001 and PLG 2013 and also devolution plan after 18th Amendment. A Committee member ,however, said that the government did not want to reduce manpower rather strengthening and rationalisation of administration under the austerity measures announced this year.
He said that the core job of the rationalisation should be completed at the earliest so that officers could perform with their best abilities.