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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has directed the Minister for Law and Justice to structure appropriate guidelines for the ministries/Divisions aimed at allowing them to use delegated powers of federal government in a prudent way, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

In February last year, the Federal Cabinet directed ministries/Divisions to review and amend their respective laws/rules and policies to substitute the word ‘federal government’ with other appropriate ‘authority’ aimed at not further burdening the Cabinet with routine cases.

However, despite passage of over a year and approval of Federal Cabinet on different occasions, the replacement of word “Federal Government with appropriate authority” has become a headache for the Federal Cabinet and ministries/Divisions as either routine cases are still being placed before the Cabinet or Ministries are not sending important cases to Prime Minister for approval.

Ministries, Divisions asked to identify ‘appropriate authority’

This issue was raised again at a meeting of Federal Cabinet on March 17, 2023 when a summary of Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony placed a summary regarding re-constitution of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC).

During discussion, the Cabinet Members once again observed that routine matters like this and appointments were being presented before the Cabinet. It was recalled that the Cabinet had repeatedly directed the Ministries/Divisions to review all laws/rules/regulations to replace the word ‘Federal Government ‘with other appropriate authority, so that the Cabinet was not burdened with routine matters.

The Minister for Law & Justice pointed out that some cases had been received in the Cabinet Committee on disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC), which were approved, but the majority of Ministries/Divisions had not completed the exercise.

During discussion on this issue, it was pointed out that the Ministries/Divisions were not exactly clear as to what was the appropriate level to delegate the authority. A review of exercise done by some ministries/Divisions revealed that even important matters, which warranted approval by the Prime Minister or at least the Minister, had been delegated to the level of Secretary.

There was thus a need to formulate guidelines as to what should be the appropriate level commensurate with the nature and importance of the case. The Prime Minister directed the Minister for Law & Justice to suggest the same in the next Cabinet meeting.

The Federal Cabinet directed the Minister for Law & Justice to suggest guidelines in the next meeting, for timely completion of the exercise by the ministries/Divisions to review their respective laws/rules/regulations to replace the word federal government/government, with another appropriate authority, so that the Cabinet is not burdened with routine cases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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