Sindh lifts ban on recruitment in GOV KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Saturday decided to lift the ban that had been imposed on recruitment in all government departments on the verbal order of the former chief minister in August 2015.
“This step will help improve performance of the government departments where positions are vacant. Besides, such employment opportunities will help reduce poverty caused by joblessness in Sindh,” said Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while presiding over the fourth cabinet meeting since he took over the office some two months ago.
He said unemployed youths were looking towards the government for jobs. “It is appropriate time to lift the ban on jobs, as the government is trying to improve performance in all the sectors,” he added. However, he conceded that an efficient government could be possible only when all the vacancies were filled on merit.
Mr Shah ordered all the ministries to hold meetings of their respective Departmental Promotion Committees (DPCs) so that serving officials were promoted to fill the posts. The remaining positions would be advertised, he added.
According to official sources, around 90,000 positions are vacant in Sindh government departments and nearly half of them were to be filled by promoting officials. They said some 50,000 positions would be filled through selection committee and Sindh Public Service Commission, according to their pay and scale. The chief minister plainly told the cabinet that there would be no compromise on merit. “I need efficient people to make departments efficient,” he said.
Concern over parallel policing
The meeting also discussed the terms of reference (ToR) and standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Special Security Division-South (Sindh and Balochistan) as being created by the federal government to provide security to the projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There would be nine infantry battalions comprising a force of 9,000 soldiers and six wings of 4,502 civil and military personnel in the SSD. The cabinet was informed that the federal government had requested the Sindh government to grant policing powers to the SSD in their area of operation.
However, the cabinet members had reservation over the move as they explained that police stations functioning in these areas should be strengthened instead of creating a parallel force. They said if a parallel force was created and given policing powers, there were chances of a serious clash of mandate and laws. The chief minister said the Sindh government was committed to provide security to CPEC-related projects and their manpower.
Acknowledging that reservations expressed by the cabinet members carried weight, the chief minister constituted a committee, which would be headed by himself with ministers Nisar Khuhro and Hazar Khan Bijarani, and adviser for legal affairs Murtaza Wahab as its members, to examine the request and frame recommendations. The cabinet authorised the CM to talk to Islamabad and take decision on the issue.
Sheesha, gutka & mainpuri banned
The cabinet discussed sheesha smoking /cafes, and use of gutka and mainpuri threadbare and decided to impose ban on them.
While briefing the cabinet, the health secretary said the effect of sheesha smoking on health was almost equal to the impact of smoking 150 cigarettes at once. About nine litres smoke is inhaled when a person smokes Sheesha in a single session, he said.
The cabinet imposed a ban on sheesha, gutka and mainpuri and asked the inspector general of police to implement the decision.
Markets closure, Muharram security
While taking the cabinet into confidence, the chief minister said he had decided to fix timings for shops and markets from 9am to 7pm, while the closing time of marriage halls should be 10pm.
The cabinet appreciated the decision and constituted a committee comprising Sindh minister for industries Manzoor Wassan, adviser for labour Senator Saeed Ghani and adviser for information Maula Bux Chandio to consult small traders, marriage hall managements and other stakeholders.
“I am keen to implement it after Ashura and everyone, including traders, businessmen and civil society, supports me,” said Mr Shah.
The cabinet also asked the police chief to take action against vehicles plying with plates written with “Applied for Registration” or AFR. “I have ordered the excise ministry to register all the vehicles at CM House and issue them number plates,” he said.
While briefing the cabinet about the security plan for Muharram majalis and processions, IG police A.D. Khwaja said sufficient force in uniform and plainclothes would guard mourners across the province. The IG said police and the Rangers were in close coordination with intelligence agencies to make foolproof security arrangement for Muharram. However, he said the police were in need of more cameras as the monitoring system was being upgraded. In response to the demand, the chief minister asked the IT department to urgently provide 200 CCTV cameras to the police department.
Sindh Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Khuhro was asked to bring all private bills in cabinet meetings for discussion. “It is the government that passes and implements bills, thus it will be good to discuss them in the cabinet,” the chief minister said, adding that he wanted to discuss private members’ bill on dowry in the cabinet shortly. The cabinet also discussed some draft bills and sent most of them to cabinet committee for further discussion.