ISLAMABAD: Out of total 29,000 posts of officer cadre in the federal government, only 108 posts belong to the MP scales - a miniscule fraction (0.37 percent) of the total.
The maximum limit to serve in these scales is five years, which is not renewable.
The opening up would provide a larger pool of applicants and a level playing field to all those who meet the eligibility criteria and can make it through an open and competitive process.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision of recent cabinet meeting, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Establishment Mohammad Shehzad Arbab stated that government allows highly qualified officers with PhDs and Masters from top universities to work for donor agencies but we do not allow them to use their expertise for upgrading our own capacity.
There is no reservation or quota for the civil servants and they have to compete with others from outside the government.
He added that generalists without PhDs, Masters, and requisite experience in the field are not eligible to apply.
The decision to allow the serving civil servants to compete with outsiders for MP Scales was made by the Cabinet, after careful deliberations at the Cabinet Committee on Institutional Reforms (CCIR).
In fact, we are opening up top secretariat posts, so far reserved for generalist cadre officers, to technical experts from private sector as well as from within the government.
Arbab stressed that given the dearth of competent people, staying in the government, we have to find innovative ways to retain them.
The resignations under the existing rules mean permanent severance from government service and the expertise and the experience they gain in MP positions are no longer available to us resulting in diminution of our institutional capacity.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021