ISLAMABAD – Finding the media and public focused on judges’ issue, the coalition government on Friday made a record of unprecedented promotions in one go, giving as many as 21 bureaucrats the top grade of BPS-22.
Contrary to anticipations of the ‘Secretariat Group (SG)’ and other occupational cadres of the civil services, the DMG, which is generally alleged to be pro-establishment, has once again won the lion’s share in the latest promotions.
Out of 21 officers promoted from Basic Pay Scale of 21 to 22, not less than ten are from the District Management Group (DMG), followed by both the Secretariat Group and the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) bagging four promotion slots each.
The Railways, Income Tax, and Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service each have also got their one officer promoted to the paramount grade in the country’s federal bureaucracy that also feeds the provincial administrations. Other than the lady luck smiled on nearly a couple of dozen baboos, six others were reshuffled within the key Ministries and Divisions especially Finance, Economic Affairs, Petroleum, Statistics Division, and Ports and Shipping so to mention.
Official sources were of the view that this reshuffle was rather more important than the promotions of a record number of officers at once. They underlined the importance of Finance Ministry with the annual budget due in next month. At the same time, the Petroleum Ministry these days carries some special weight to handle the skyrocketing oil prices. Similarly, the Ports and Shipping Ministry is also of critical importance, especially in the backdrop of stories around the Gawadar Port, not to mention the Karachi Port and other mega departments attached to the Ministry.
Presently, it is the Prime Minister’s discretion as against that of the Central Selection Board, headed by the Chairman Federal Public Service Commission to promote a civil servant into Grade 22.
Former Premier Shaukat Aziz had introduced this policy of keeping the promotions into the highest grade of bureaucracy in the purview of the Prime Minister and not the CSB. Contrary to the democratic claims of the incumbent government, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani not only preferred to continue with these discretionary powers but also made a massive use of it, obviously having green signal and clearances by the powers that be.
The sources also informed The Nation that the government has been working on these promotions for the last many days parallel to the Dubai talks but in utter secrecy so much so that none of the media organizations could smell it till the time of notifications on Friday. Had the Dubai talks failed, the list of the promoted officers could have been short as well as different, the sources claimed. That is why, they added, the secrecy was to be maintained at all cost. They maintained that the final rapprochement between the two major partners in the ruling coalition has ensured sufficient promotion slots for the pro-PML-N officers.
According to individual notifications of the Establishment Division, Muhammad Sharif of SG in basic scale 22 has been moved from Population Welfare to SAFRON Division. His Group fellow Muhammad Saleem Khan in grade 22 was shifted from Local Government to Ports and Shipping.
Abdurrauf Chaudhry who got promotion in 22 during the tenure of Shaukat Aziz as Prime Minister was transferred from Housing to the new position as Secretary Textile and Industry Division.
Dr Waqar Masood Khan who was previously moved from being Special Secretary to Premier Shaukat Aziz to the Finance Division is now given the Economic Affairs Division. Prior to Shaukat Aziz’s elevation from Finance Minister to Prime Minister and his choosing Dr Masood as his Special Secretary, the latter was in EAD as Secretary.
Farrakh Qayyum 22, a hardworking and soft-spoken bureaucrat, is to replace Dr Masood to lead the Finance Ministry which is supposed to formulate first budget of the new government and that too in the price hike breaking all previous records. Petroleum Division left vacant by Qayyum, is given to Zafar Mehmood of grade 22 and also from the same SG who was moved from Textile Division.
Following is list of lucky bureaucrats getting into grade 22 along their consequent postings.
Ali Arfi of the Railways Group was Additional Secretary at the Prime Minister Secretariat would be Special Secretary to Premier Gillani after getting promotion into the top grade.
Ashraf M Hayat of Pak Audit and Accounts Group was looking after Minorities Affairs Division, as Additional Secretary would stay in position but as full Secretary.
M Saleem Khan of SG would go from previous posting as Additional Secretary Food and Agriculture to Secretary Local Government.
Tariq Shaifiq Khan (SG) would take over as Secretary Statistics Division after promotion from Managing Director Public Procurement Regulatory Authority.
M Akraam Arif (SG) Member National Tariff Commission would become Chairman NTC by virtue of his promotion.
Mehmood Saleem Mehmood of Income Tax Group who was Acting Secretary Women Development would continue as Secretary. M Ashraf Khan (SG) is notified as Secretary Sports from previous position of Additional Secretary Commerce.
Sheikh Ghazanfar Hussain (DMG) Acting Sec Parliamentary Affairs would also continue as incumbent Secretary after promotion.
Badrul Islam would remain on the disposal of the Punjab government even after getting grade 22.
Nayar Agha Additional Secretary In-charge Inter Provincial Coordination Division would be the Secretary Population Welfare.
Muhammad Ihtisham Khan Secretary Federal Ombudsman would also continue in his position even after getting into grade 22.
Mirza Kareem Baig Senior Member Federal Land Commission would remain in position.
Muhammad Farid Khan is transferred from the government of NWFP to Secretary Human Rights Division
S Anwar Haider’s service would remain on the disposal of the government of Sindh.
Mrs Sarood Lashari Additional Secretary Population Welfare would take over the Inter provincial Coordination (IPC) Division as Secretary.
Muhammad Kashif Murtaza AS Incharge Railways Division would continue as full-fledged Secretary of the Division.
Samiul Haq Khilji AS Incharge Suports Division has become Secretary Housing and Works after getting promotion in grade 22.
Malik Naveed Khan (PSP) Provincial Police Officer previously known as Inspector General Police of NWFP would continue in the higher grade after getting into 22. Similar his service fellows as well as counterparts in other provinces namely Punjab and Balochistan, Shaukat Javed, and Saud Gauhar, respective, would also continue after promotion. Last but not the least Syed Nayyar Husnain Haider (PSP) Managing Director Overseas Pakistanis Foundation would also stay in his post but with a higher grade.
Source: The Nation, 3/5/2008