Punjab abolishes hundreds of posts in austerity drive

LAHORE: Senior Adviser to Punjab Chief Minister, Zulfiqar Khosa, on Sunday unleashed revolutionary austerity measures in the province, which would save up to Rs 6.10 billion to the provincial exchequer.In a press briefing, Khosa announced the abolition of a total of 550 posts of officers in various departments. He said under the new austerity and rightsizing drive, 234 posts of executive district officers (EDOs) and DDOs, two posts of BS-20 in the Planning and Development (P&D) Department and two posts of members of the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team would be abolished.Khosa said 89 posts, including three posts of additional IGPs (BS-21), nine posts of DIGs (BS-20), one post of SSP (survey), seven posts of SPs (BS-19) and 69 posts of DSPs (BS-17) in the Punjab Home Department would also be abolished.He said the government had decided to merge Social Welfare, Women Development, Baitul Maal, Zakat and Ushr as well as Child Protection Bureau of the Home Department into a single department named Social Protection and Zakat Department.Khosa said four posts of divisional commissioners (BS-21) in Sargodha, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan districts have been downgraded to BS-20, adding that all the district coordination officers would be of BS-20 without exception.In a landmark decision, he said, seven posts of special secretaries were being abolished except in the finance, home, health and local government departments.

The senior adviser said that half of the 58 officers of the All-Pakistan Unified Group (APUG) working on deputation in Punjab would be repatriated to their parent departments in the federal government, which would create room for PCS officers in the province.The Punjab government has decided to exclude revenue administration from the local government system by introducing an amendment to the Punjab Local Governments Ordinance.Khosa said on assuming the office of the chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif promoted austerity in the administrative affairs under which the purchase of new vehicles for ministers was stopped. He said one-dish was promoted at marriages and other functions and a ban was imposed on the holding of marriage functions after 10pm to save electricity.Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, Finance Secretary Tariq Bajwa and Regulations Secretary Muhammad Ilyas were also present on the occasion.Replying to a question, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed said that 550 officers affected by the austerity drive would stay in the surplus pool and be adjusted in other departments gradually.He said the Punjab government took a number of steps to improve and strengthen the governance structure by taking both political as well as administrative initiatives, which helped to get rid of the extra burden and also ensured lean but efficient structure to better serve the people of the province – Dailytimes