ISLAMABAD: In an apparent bid to introduce institutional reforms and to reorganise various institutions/organisations, the government has approved the merger of 19 state-owned entities (SOEs) and winding up/liquidation of five SOEs after obtaining due consent of their administrative ministries/divisions.
According to documents available with this scribe, the government has approved the merger of 19 SOEs belonging to seven ministries/divisions, besides the merger of Textile Division with Commerce Division and Postal Division with the Ministry of Communication. It also approved winding up/liquidation of five SOEs belonging to three ministries/divisions.
Similarly, the government has approved to transfer nine SOEs belonging to five ministries/divisions to other ministries/divisions, provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Sources privy to the matter informed that the Establishment Division had forwarded to the federal cabinet a summary in the light of recommendations forwarded by a committee led by Advisor to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms & Austerity Ishrat Husain.
Sources said owing to expected criticism from the opposition parties, the government has kept secret the names of those five institutions which have been dissolved. Although the Ishrat Husain-led committee had recommended the government to dissolve five institutions, it had not forwarded recommendations regarding the fate/future of the employees of these five institutes, sources added.
It is pertinent to mention that on 15th July 2019, the federal government had formed an implementation committee for ‘restructuring of government departments.’ The mandate of the committee was to work out an implementation strategy/work plan in consultation with the PM’s Task Force on Austerity and Institutional Reforms. The committee was directed to complete the task within six months and present monthly implementation progress to the cabinet.
On 17th September 2019, the Ishrat Husain-led committee had presented before federal cabinet its report for the months of July and August 2019. The report consisted of recommendations on executive departments and autonomous bodies.
The federal cabinet, after analysing the contents of the report, had decided to immediately implement those committee recommendations which had the consents of concerned ministries/divisions. It also called for consultation on recommendations that were opposed by the concerned ministries/divisions.