22 Peons for One Assistant Director: Balochistan Targets Unnecessary Hiring

22 Peons for One Assistant Director: Balochistan Targets Unnecessary Hiring

File photo: Employees protest caused worst traffic jam in various parts of Quetta city

Syed Ali Shah:

QUETTA: In a recent meeting presided over by Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Sarfraz Bugti, it was revealed that in one district, there are 22 peons working under a single assistant director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The revelation highlighted the issue of unnecessary recruitments made in the past, leading to inefficiencies and misuse of resources. The Chief Minister expressed his anger over the majority of employees not performing their duties, sitting at home while demanding salaries.

Chief Minister Bugti also pointed out that visits to Rural Health Centers (RHCs) revealed widespread absenteeism, with doctors and watchmen absent, offices closed, and locks rusted. He emphasized the urgent need to revise current rules that prevent the dismissal of habitually absent employees, from class IV workers to officers.

The meeting, which reviewed the implementation of the development budget and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s (PDMA) arrangements for the monsoon season, included key officials such as Provincial Minister for Planning and Development Mir Zahoor Buledi, Provincial Finance Minister Mir Shoaib Noshirwani, Chief Secretary Balochistan Shakeel Qadir Khan, Finance Secretary Babar Khan, and DG PDMA Jahanzeb Khan.

The Finance Secretary and DG PDMA provided briefings, with the Finance Department reporting that development projects have been initiated without delay and the DG PDMA confirming that actions to deal with monsoon rains and potential flooding have been completed.

Chief Minister Bugti emphasized that the provincial government’s performance will be tested from the start of the new financial year. For the first time in history, the tendering process for development projects commenced on July 1. He committed to visiting development project sites twice a week and instructed ministers and secretaries to conduct regular field visits to ensure the timely implementation of these projects. The Chief Minister warned that releasing funds contrary to physical progress would be considered a serious crime and action would be taken against those responsible.

Additionally, Chief Minister Bugti directed the Services and General Administration Department to create comprehensive rules and regulations for government employees to address issues of absenteeism and inefficiency. He stressed that the province cannot be managed like a fish market and that urgent action and dismissal of non-performing employees are necessary.

The Balochistan government is also starting a process of accountability and self-accountability to monitor performance, with plans to empower and hold the Planning & Development and Finance Departments accountable. Chief Minister Bugti has ordered a separate meeting to discuss amendments to the service rules and proposals for action against employees holding dual employment.

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