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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to take action against the Ministries for not complying with Federal Cabinet's instructions to fill top vacant positions in Public Sector Entities (PSEs), well informed sources in Establishment Division told Business Recorder.

On February 9, 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan had expressed disappointment at the delay in hiring of heads of different organisations falling under administrative control of ministries, saying stop-gap arrangements may lead to nepotism and corruption.

On April 1, 2021, Secretary, Establishment Division, made a presentation to the Cabinet on the vacant positions of heads/CEOs of PSEs. He requested Ministries/Divisions to provide the details of the vacant positions of CEOs/MDs including the posts which are currently filled on temporary/stop-gap basis. Consequently, the list has been updated and based on the information provided by the administrative Ministries/Divisions.

Total 94 (77+17) positions are vacant as on March 29, 2021. Since February 9, 2021, 09 positions have been filled out of 86, leaving 77 vacant whereas 17 new vacant positions have been identified, of which 04 posts are likely to be vacant in the next three months.

Of these vacant positions, 56 appointments are initial, 14 through promotion, 3 sharing between promotion and initial appointments, 1 by transfer, 1 by nomination of board, 1 under abolishment and one not indicated (total 77). 9 position are related to restructuring, 2 are in litigation whereas 9 (7 initial appointments, 2 promotion) are due to revision in rules/terms.

There are 33 vacant posts that have been advertised and selection process is under way or is in the final stages, and it is expected that these posts will be filled soon; or are being abolished falling in category A.

Those posts where recruitment process has not been initiated yet fall in category B. Reasons for not initiating recruitment process vary and include issues such as: (i) recruitment rules are being revised; (ii) the organisation is under process of privatisation / merger /winding up and; (iii) the terms & conditions of the posts are being reviewed or there is active litigation. 44 posts have been classified in Category-B.

The list of existing vacant positions in different Ministries are as follows: (i) Power Division, 16; (ii) NFS&R Division, 9; (iii) Commerce, 8, FE&PT Division, 6; (iv) Information and Broadcasting 5; (v) Housing and Works Division, 4; (vi) Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division, 3; (vii) I&P, 3; (viii) NH&C Division, 3; (ix) Petroleum Division, 3; (x) Human Rights Division, 3; (xi) Water Resources, 3; (xii) Science and Technology, 2; (xiii) Finance Division, 1; (xiv) IT & Telecom Division, 1; (xv) maritime Affairs Division, 1;(xvi) Overseas Pakistanis Division, 1 ;(xvii) Climate Change, 1 and ;(xviii) Cabinet Division, 1.

The positions likely to be vacant in the next three months are Managing Director, National Telecommunication Corporation, Managing Director, Utility Stores Corporation, Chairman Implementation Tribunal for the Newspaper Employees (ITNE) and Rector, National School of Public Policy.

During discussion, the Prime Minister observed that most of the positions were lying vacant due to framing/revision of recruitment rules.

He expressed dismay as to why, despite repeated directions of the Cabinet, the rules had not been framed. He further noted that in majority of cases, the recruitment process started late despite the fact that Ministries/Divisions knew the exact date when the position would fall vacant.

The Secretary, Establishment Division, noted that the positions falling vacant were being flagged well ahead of time but were still experiencing delays, responsibility of which solely rested on concerned Ministry/Division.

The Prime Minister directed the Secretary Establishment to submit a report, on reasons for delay in framing/reviewing of recruitment rules and restructuring of organisation as well as late start of recruitment process, to the Prime Minister's Office before the next Cabinet meeting.

The sources said, Prime Minister is expected to censure the heads of Ministries for not complying with the directions of Cabinet.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021