Breaking rules, govt appoints consultant alternative chairperson PSDP

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ISLAMABAD:  Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform has made a controversial move by appointing a consultant alternative chairperson for mid-year review meetings of Public-Sector Development Programme 2017-18.

This appointment which besides being privy to controversy is also jeopardizing accountability and isn’t on merit, reported Express Tribune.

Individual appointed as consultant and presiding over post of advisor development budget doesn’t have the credentials to preside meetings of senior officers. Since the alleged individual isn’t a grade-21 officer, he isn’t permitted to preside over meetings of such senior officers.

As per official correspondence of ministry of planning, it was revealed grade-21 officers were being compelled to report to the consultant whose contract is equivalent to a grade-20 officer.

In a letter written by joint secretary said Planning, Development and Reform Secretary gave directives over telephone that mid-year review of the PSDP 2017-18 will be presided over by adviser development budget as per previous practice.

The secretary noted any violation of these instructions, would be seen seriously, the letter read.

Conventionally, the meetings are presided over by the chairman who is the minister for planning and in is absence by planning secretary.

According to joint chief economist operations of the planning ministry contended advisor development budget couldn’t be assigned the responsibility of presiding over such a critical meeting.

Joint secretary’s decision to appoint adviser development budget alternative as chairman was antithetical to a claim of planning ministry spokesman in which he stated the advisor wasn’t using any administrative or financial powers.

But official in the ministry of planning argued mid-year review meetings of PSP were of significant importance and couldn’t be presided over by a consultant.

The alleged advisor development budget Asif Sheikh is said to have retired from government way back in March 2008 after turning 60 years of age.

Dr Ali Bat Khan, the senior most officer of Economic Group and is also Joint Chief Economist has moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against appointment of Asif Sheikh as advisor development budget.