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Govt asks ECP to lift ban on new jobs, diversion of funds

06 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Terming the ban on diversion of funds and direct recruitment a violation of constitution, the federal government has approached the Election Commission of Pakistan for lifting of the restrictions.

Law Minister Farooq H Naek, in a telephonic call, has requested Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim to lift the ban. Naek termed the ban on recruitment and diversion of funds before the announcement of election date violation of the constitution. He added that the commission had the mandate to impose the two bans after a date or schedule for the polls was announced. A letter with a formal request has been sent to the CEC in this regard.

On January 21, taking notice of media reports, the ECP had imposed a ban on all direct recruitments at the federal, provincial and local government levels with immediate effect. According to the decision, this ban was not to apply to inductions made through the federal or provincial public service commissions. The election commission had also banned diversion of funds allocated for development projects approved under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) at the time of the announcement of the budget 2012-13 and stopped the spending of the diverted funds on new projects approved under political considerations.

The commission had in its directive stated that different segments of society had expressed grave concern that some government departments were in the process of inducting thousands of people to various positions, which amounted to pre-poll rigging. The directive added that the commission had considered the concern voiced by people that money allocated for important development projects was being diverted to the discretionary fund of the prime minister for development in his constituency, which was nothing short of another facet of pre-poll rigging.

The ECP had termed the move imperative in order to prevent any action by the federal, provincial and local governments which amounted to influencing election results.

End.

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