It is disappointing to note that the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has sent a summary to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to induct 289 excise inspectors bypassing the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), which is the only legal authority to make the recruitments. The untenable excuse is that if the case is sent to the PPSC, the process would take six months while the provincial government can do the recruiting in just 38 days. Since it was five and a half months back that the case was initiated by the former provincial secretary, it appears either he or some other official knowingly kept sitting on the file. The possibility of appointments on political grounds cannot be ruled out in this style of direct induction.
Apart from an unceremonious violation of rules, these inductions would seem all the more objectionable given the time left before the general elections will be held. The sordid affair of the file culture and the pipsqueak manoeuvrings within the excise department clearly amounting to a serious irregularity can be twisted to badmouth the provincial government for instance that it intends to use these men for electoral purposes. The provincial government that keeps committing itself to transparency must pull up the officials responsible for deliberately holding it back and recruit these officials through the PPSC.