Sindh government’s austerity set to deprive many of perks | Pakistan Today

Sindh government’s austerity set to deprive many of perks

KARACHI – The Sindh government has decided to restructure its current 44 departments into 20 for curtailing the huge expenditures incurred on the large number of provincial ministers. The decision has been made after the federal government recently decided to cut down on the number of ministers.
The ruling PPP has started contacting its coalition parties including the MQM, the ANP, the PML-F and other political forces in this regard and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has instructed Chief Secretary Ghulam Ali Shah Pasha and other secretaries to chalk out a comprehensive plan for the restructuring of current departments, well-placed sources in the Sindh government told Pakistan Today.
Presently, the Sindh cabinet comprises 47 ministers and three advisers enjoying the status and protocol of a minister, resulting in huge expenses of fuel, accommodation and office, residential maintenance, etc. According to the new plan, the administrative departments, which were earlier bifurcated for accommodating coalition partners, are expected to be restructured to a total of 18 to 20 departments.
The culture and tourism departments would be merged into a single department, while three separate departments – Labour, Transport, and Industries and Commerce – would be made the Labour, Transport, Industries and Commerce Department. Moreover, the Health and Public Health Engineering departments would be made a single department and the Auqaf, Religious and Minority Affairs and Zakat and Ushr departments would be merged. However, the Planning and Development Department would remain with Adviser to Chief Minister Kaiser Bengali, Mines and Mineral Department with Imamuddin Shauqeen and the Board of Investment with Zubair Motiwala.
“The problem is not dissolving the Sindh cabinet but the merger of 47 ministries into 20. It needs detailed homework as we cannot merge the ministry of Auqaf with power,” Sindh government spokesman and PPP Sindh Secretary General Taj Haider told Pakistan Today on Sunday. “Another problem is that if the departments merge, which secretary of the department would be the in-charge as many departments have already been merged in one ministry with each department having its own secretary,” Haider added.
He said the provincial government was the first to take the initiative by removing the advisers to the Sindh chief minister before the federal government made its decision to reduce the cabinet size. “All political parties – whether a part of government or not – have supported the downsizing of cabinet on federal and provincial levels,” he maintained.
He conceded that different coalition partners are seeking some particular ministries but it was a routine matter. “My personal opinion is that there is no need to hurry on this serious issue,” Haider added After the dissolution of the Sindh cabinet, the new cabinet will comprise eight to 10 members initially with six to seven ministers from MQM, one from the PML-F and one from the ANP.
Sources said that some important ministers in Sindh would be assigned again while some new faces would also be inducted. According to the 18th Amendment, the number of ministers in Sindh should be 18. However, this condition would apply to the government that would be formed after the next general elections.

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