PM Imran may take away cabinet’s powers to appoint heads of SOEs

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ISLAMABAD: The federal government is allegedly trying to handover the powers of the federal cabinet regarding the appointment of heads of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to the prime minister, concerned ministers and secretaries.

According to sources privy to this development, the government has been striving hard to secure appointments of its “favourites” on lucrative positions of SOEs and their subsidiaries by handing over the powers of the federal cabinet to the PM and others concerned.

In this regard, the Cabinet Division has already asked the concerned ministries/divisions to remove all bottlenecks and furnish reports to the federal cabinet on or before the 15th September 2020, sources said.

At present, the federal cabinet approves SOE appointments based on some statutory rules and regulations made under different legislations. This practice, however, often results in the submission of trivial matters of routine nature to the federal cabinet, which results in wastage of precious time.

As per documents available with this scribe, the federal cabinet, vide its decision No.419/19/2017, had decided that all ministries/divisions should, in consultation with the Law & Justice Division, make amendments in the respective statutory rules and regulations to ensure smooth legislation on important issues. 

Similarly, the directives of the PM on the above lines were conveyed again by the secretary to PM on November 19, 2018. It was directed that all ministries/divisions shall go through the rules and regulations made under different federal legislation being administered by them and move the cases for requisite amendments if deemed appropriate on priority basis in the prescribed manner. The PM’s directive was followed by regular reminders from the Cabinet Division.

During the cabinet meeting held on 11th August 2020, the PM expressed displeasure that despite explicit directions of the federal cabinet, the process of requisite amendments in the statutory rules and regulations framed under different legislation remained slow. 

It was further noted that this state of affairs was resulting in the submission of trivial cases of routine nature to the federal cabinet, which was absolutely undesirable.

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