KARACHI, July 16: As the period of 40 years fixed in the constitution for direct recruitment to the federal civil services under provincial and regional quotas is going to expire next month, the Sindh government has supported a move for a 20-year extension in the period, it emerged on Tuesday.
The provincial authorities believed that it was necessary to safeguard the interest of the under-developed areas of Sindh against discrimination in services.
Since the quotas prescribed in Article 27 (1) of the 1973 constitution for direct recruitment to civil posts under the federal government will expire on Aug 13, 2013, the prime minister had given directions to the federal government to seek “meaningful input” from all the provinces about a possible extension to this constitutional arrangement.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination wrote a letter on June 24 to all the provinces seeking their “necessary input containing views of the province for extension of existing arrangements for another period of 20 years or otherwise”.
Speaking to Dawn, Sindh Minister for Law Dr Sikandar Mandhro said: “The Sindh government is in favour of extending the provincial quota in the federal bureaucracy for another 20 years.”
He added that the law department had sent a summary to the chief minister for approval to take up this issue in the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI). “We feel there is still room to extend the period as there is still an uneven level of development in the country, some provinces have moved forward while others have been pushed back in human development,” he said.
Dr Mandhro said the provinces form the federation and federating units have a right to resources, services and development. “The CCI provides a safeguard to the provinces to decide the controversial matters,” the law minister opined, adding that it would be up to this highest constitutional forum to grant extension to the provincial quota in the jobs for a certain period.
“To protect the interests of the under-developed areas of the province against discrimination in services, it is expedient that the period of 40 years, in the first proviso of clause (1) of Article 27 may be extended for another period of 20 years,” according to the contents of a summary moved to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah by Law Secretary Syed Ghulam Nabi Shah.
The summary also contained the contents of the Article 27 of the 1973 constitution, which provided safeguards against discrimination in services. It states: “No citizen otherwise qualified for appointment in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment on the ground only of race, religion, cast, sex, residence or place of birth: provided that for a period not exceeding forty years from the commencing day, posts may be reserved for persons belonging to any class or area to secure their adequate representation in the service of Pakistan: provided further that, in the interest of the said service, specified posts or services may be reserved for members of either sex if such posts or services entail the performance of duties and functions which cannot be adequately performed by members of other sex: provided also that under representation of any class or area in the service of Pakistan may be redressed in such manner as may be determined by an act of Parliament.”
The article further stated that nothing in clause (1) should prevent any provincial government, or any local or other authority in a province, from prescribing, in relation to any post or class of services under that government or authority, conditions as to residence in the province, for a period not exceeding three years, prior to appointment under that government or authority.
According to a notification of the establishment division (O.M.No. 4/10/2006-R-2), dated Feb 12, 2007, following merit and provincial/regional quota is observed in filling vacancies reserved for direct recruitment to posts in the federal government:
The quota for merit is 7.5 per cent. While the share of Punjab (including federal area of Islamabad) has been fixed as 50 per cent, Sindh 19pc, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 11.5pc, Balochistan 6pc, Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas)/ Federally Administered Tribal Areas 4pc and Azad Jammu and Kashmir 2pc.
Of the 19 per cent share of Sindh, 7.6pc quota has been sub-allocated to urban areas of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. The remaining 11.4 per cent has been fixed for rural areas of Sindh, excluding Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.