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Heavy incentives as officers unwilling to join Mini-Secretariat

By Javed Iqbal

Lahore: Despite earmarking three billion rupees as block allocation for the establishment of Mini- Secretariat for South Punjab, the provincial administration is still facing multiple issues to materialize the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf’s slogan.
Officers settled in the provincial capital are not willing to leave the centre point for a new place where the government wants to establish the Mini- Secretariat.
However officials hailing from the South Punjab and currently posted in Lahore are willing to go there.
The PTI government had announced to set up the Mini secretariat by the mid of 2019.
An unofficial survey conducted reflected that the senior officers from grade 17 to 20 were not ready to relocate their families and themselves.
The government has finalized to post special secretaries as heads of the 14 departments besides additional and deputy secretaries. They are of the view that by joining the Mini-Secretariat in South Punjab, they will have to surrender their official residences.
It is very hard to get government residences if lost. It would be very hard for them to get them again in the near future, said an additional secretary.
Neither Multan nor Bahawalpur have the official residence facility to accommodate the officers.
Surprisingly, initially, the offices for different departments will be set up in rented buildings.
The official sources said that the government of Punjab wasconsidering two proposals to incentivize the officers to transfer in Southern Punjab. Number one, they should be paid one extra basic salary every month while the second proposal is that the officers should be given one and half extra basic pay per month.
If approved the officials posted in the Mini-Secretariat would get handsome salary every month. It is to be called that, presently, only the officers and officials posted in the Civil Secretariat Lahore get allowances which other officers of other departments don’t. They get Secretariat Allowance on the pattern of Chief Minister’s Office and the Governor’s House besides utility allowance.
The officers who perform duties in the Finance Department get some special allowance called honorarium on preparing the annual budget.
There are many state-of-the-art GORs in the provincial metropolis Lahore with luxury apartments and palatial bungalows particularly constructed for officers. Moreover, there are colonies for the ministerial staff from grade one to grade 16 in the city.
The capital is rich with elite private and public sector educational institutions at both lower and higher levels. They approach private and public sector hospitals, as well.
The officers are of the view that after completing education, their children enjoy a competitive environment in Lahore to excel in life.
In the metropolis city, there are academies and coaching centres for the students to prepare for the competitive and other examinations.
That’s why the officers posted in Lahore are not willing to shift their families to any other city of the province and this could fail the political agenda of the PTI government led by a Chief Minister from the most backward district of the province.

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