ECP bans recruitments, diversion of funds
22 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday placed a complete ban on direct recruitments and diversion of development funds from already approved projects to new projects, in a bid to ensure transparency.
The ban would be applicable on direct recruitments in federal ministries, divisions and institutions, provincial departments and local bodies of the provinces. Similarly, the diversion of the development funds already allocated for projects of federal ministries, divisions and institutions, provincial departments and local bodies would stand banned with immediate effect.
The ECP has also placed a ban on utilisation of development funds diverted from already approved projects to new projects so that ongoing projects could be completed. Sources in the ECP said that there were media reports that the federal and provincial governments are making recruitments directly to get political benefits, whereas billions of rupees are being diverted from already approved projects to new projects to benefit populations of certain areas – mainly constituencies of the top political leadership in federal and provincial governments.
According to the official sources, the federal and provincial governments have reportedly been diverting development funds to the projects politically beneficial for their political parties, and are using their influence in this regard. Taking serious notice of this situation, the ECP has taken this decision not only to make the recruitment process transparent but also to ensure completion of development projects duly approved through legal process, the sources added.
An ECP statement issued on Monday stated that in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under articles 218(3) and 220 of the constitution, Article 6 of the Election Commission Order 2002, section 103 (c) and 104 of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 and all other powers enabling it in that behalf, the ECP has issued the following directions: That all kinds of recruitments in any ministry, division, department or institution of the federal government or any department or institution of any provincial and local government is banned forthwith except recruitments by the federal or a provincial public service commission.
That diversion of funds already allocated to various development projects in the country is banned forthwith and the spending of funds so diverted shall stand frozen forthwith. According to the original order issued by the ECP, the commission is charged with the constitutional duty to organise and conduct elections in terms of Article 218 of the constitution and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with the law and that corrupt practices are guarded against.
There has been concern among different segments of society that some government departments were in the process of inducting thousands of people on various positions, which amounts to pre-poll rigging as political bribe. For tangible reasons, the ECP is believes that such mass recruitments at this point of time when the general elections are nearing, this practice will substantially influence the results of elections, therefore, it is imperative on all standards of legal, moral and democratic ethics that all kinds of recruitments except those which are made by the federal and provincial public service commissions be banned forthwith.
The commission has taken into consideration the concern of the people as expressed in the national press that money allocated to various important development projects in the country is being diverted to the discretionary fund of the prime minister of for utilisation in the development of his constituency. The ECP seeks to take all necessary steps under the law to prevent any action on the part of the federal, provincial and local governments that amounts to influencing the results of upcoming general elections by depriving candidates from having a level playing field.