Devolution deadline unlikely to be met

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ISLAMABAD – Due to a lack of interest of several members of the implementation commission on the 18th Amendment and uncooperative behaviour of the provinces, the commission is set to miss the deadline for the completion of the process of devolution of ministries to the provinces.
The lack of interest by the members of the commission could only be gauged by the fact that only three of the nine members attended Tuesday’s meeting. “Only Raza Rabbani, Rehmatullah Kakar and Naveed Qamar attended the commission’s meeting, while Dr Farooq Sattar only came for a while and left the meeting with an excuse,” a source present in the meeting informed Pakistan Today.
“The Establishment Division, during a meeting of the commission held on Tuesday, said it was almost impossible to meet the deadline of June 30, 2011 set by the commission to complete the devolution process and the commission should now shift the deadline to December end,” the source said. “During the briefing, the Establishment Division informed the commission that the provinces were not ready to accommodate the employees of the devolved ministries already working in provinces.
Neither are the provinces ready to give them the required seniority and facilities,” said the source. Due to the same hiccups, the Establishment Division and the provincial authorities were unable to evolve a strategy on the fate of the employees of the devolved ministries. “The establishment division sought a new date for the completion of the devolution process.
However, commission chairman Raza Rabbani appeared reluctant to set a new timeline and the meeting was postponed without a decision,” the source added. Later, a press release said the commission would hold another meeting on March 10 and that no employee would be retrenched. Establishment Secretary Abdur Rauf Chaudhry refused to comment on the matter, saying only Rabbani was authorised to comment in this regard.