Unfair promotions... By Asghar
04 January, 2013
According to media reports, 33 senior bureaucrats have been promoted to pay scale 22 (status of a federal secretary), a dream position for every civil servant. In the past, the position of federal secretary was the exclusive prerogative of an elite service, the Civil Service of Pakistan. The name was changed to District Management Group in the wake of the administrative reforms of 1973, introduced by Z A Bhutto's government.
The present government has approved a new title, the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS), which is basically old wine in a new bottle. Most of the promoted officers belong to this service. An unprecedented number of bureaucrats have been promoted to B-22 during the last four years. The package of the position of a federal secretary or a B-22 officer is really lucrative. There is a hefty salary, foreign trips and perks including a fleet of cars belonging to attached departments, autonomous organisations and projects. After retirement, a B-22 officer gets an additional, expensive residential plot in Islamabad and a government paid driver and orderly. A federal secretary and his spouse are entitled to a gratis official passport for life.
The basic responsibility of the bureaucracy is to formulate economic and social policies for the welfare of the people and their safety and security. Has our bureaucracy fulfilled this responsibility? The country is facing serious crises of which most devastating is the energy crisis affecting industry, commerce, transport, agriculture and domestic consumers of gas and electricity. Insecurity in the country is scaring away foreign investment, tourists and cricket teams. Inflation and unemployment are forcing people to suicide and extremism, tarnishing the image of Pakistan abroad. Seen in this scenario, expansion and promotion in the bureaucracy seems unjustified.