Members of the federal cabinet have expressed concern over what they say are faulty advertisements to favour some predetermined candidates and keep posts vacant to give additional charge to some officials.

They raised the issue in a cabinet meeting held on January 18 while considering the proposal of giving additional charge of the post of Korangi Fisheries Harbour Authority (KFHA) managing director to the director general (ports and shipping), Karachi.

During discussion, the cabinet members voiced concern over “made-to-measure advertisements” for key positions, which either were designed to favour some predetermined candidates or keep the slots vacant to give additional charge to some others.

On a suggestion that a committee should be constituted to check the subterfuge, they pointed out that ministers and secretaries were directly responsible to guard against such malpractices.

Prime Minister Imran Khan gave directives that the filling of key positions under ministries and divisions should be included in performance agreements to ensure these were not left vacant deliberately through faulty advertisements.

The Maritime Affairs Division briefed the cabinet that KFHA was a statutory body established under the KFHA Ordinance of 1982 for planning, construction, operation and management of the Korangi Fisheries Harbour to exploit the fishery resources of Pakistan.

The post of KFHA managing director (M-11) became vacant following the retirement of Commodore Rahat Ahmad Awan on January 10, 2022.

As per Section 10 of the KFHA Ordinance, the federal government selects and appoints a full-time managing director of the authority. In terms of Rule 3(3) and 3(2)(ii) of KFHA’s Employees (Services) Regulation 1988, the federal government is the appointing authority for the KFHA MD.

Commodore Awan had been appointed MD with approval of the federal cabinet till his date of retirement on January 22, 2022. However, Awan was allowed to join PNS Dilawar on January 9, 2022.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs pointed out that in order to attract suitable candidates from the open market, the cabinet had directed the Maritime Affairs Division to amend rules and regulations.

In this regard, the ministry proposed amendments to the KFHA Employees Regulation 1988, which were open for comments from the public and private sectors.

The amended rules were forwarded to the Establishment Division on October 27, 2021, followed by correspondence on November 23, 2021. Later, a reminder was sent on December 17, 2021 for vetting the document.

However, the requisite concurrence is still awaited. It may take some time to complete the whole recruitment process.

Keeping that in view, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs proposed that the additional charge of the post of KFHA MD be assigned to Syed Syedain Raza Zaidi, Director General (BS-21) Ports and Shipping Wing for a period of three months or till the appointment of a regular MD, whichever was earlier.

Approval of the cabinet, being the appointing authority, was solicited for the proposal.

The cabinet considered the summary titled “Assigning Additional Charge of the Post of Managing Director Korangi Fisheries Harbour Authority, Karachi to Director General (Ports and Shipping), Ports and Shipping Wing in Karachi” and approved the proposal.

However, it said that the period for additional charge should start from the date of his promotion from BS-20 to BS-21.

It also directed the special assistant to prime minister on establishment to include the filling of key positions under ministries and divisions in performance agreements to ensure these were not kept vacant deliberately.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2022.

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