ISLAMABAD: As many as 171,237 posts in the federal government and its autonomous organisations are currently vacant, almost 18 per cent of the total sanctioned strength of the departments and bodies.
In its statistical bulletin about employees of the federal government and its autonomous bodies for 2016-17, the Establishment Division has put the total sanctioned strength at about 1.13 million (1,137,843 to be exact) and said that 966,606 employees were working against these posts, showing a shortfall of about 18pc.
The total number of sanctioned federal government posts stood at 649,176 but 570,553 employees and officers were available for these positions, showing a vacancy of about 78,623 posts or 12pc. These included vacancies for 9,235 officers of grade-17 and above and 69,390 staff of grade-16 and below.
Similarly, a total of 396,053 employees were working in autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies of the federal government against their sanctioned strength of 488,667, a shortfall of about 19pc.
Sindh, Balochistan have fewer employees as compared to their quotas
An official explained that posts fell vacant in routine over the years due to retirement, death or resignation of employees, but the huge backlog of vacant posts is mainly because of a general restriction on hiring during the tenure of the previous government.
The bulletin showed that 488,667 sanctioned posts of autonomous bodies and corporations included 76,544 meant for officers in BS-17 and above and 412,123 staff below grade-17. The total number of vacant posts in these bodies stood at 92,614 including 8,047 officers and 84,567 staff.
Against the total existing strength of 966,606 officers and staff working in various ministries, corporations and semi-autonomous bodies, Punjab has the highest share of employees, 489,799 persons, that is slightly higher than its 50pc quota allocation. The joint quota for Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has been set at 50pc according to which the two should have a total of 483,303 employees.
Among the 396,053 employees working in autonomous or semi-autonomous bodies too Punjab has a lion’s share of 221,067 employees, accounting for 55.81pc of the total. This is significantly higher than the combined quota for Punjab and ICT. However, their occupancy in the federal government jobs, at 47pc or 268,732, is lower than their quota.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa far exceeds its 11.5pc quota and currently has about 24.55pc share in the posts of federal government and its bodies. The provincial representation in federal jobs (both government and corporations) stands at around 198,455 against the 111,159 positions it should have in line with its quota. As such, the province has grabbed 87,296 more jobs than its quota.
The province has 140,056 employees working in federal ministries while its strength in various autonomous or semi-autonomous bodies currently stands at 14.75pc or 58,402 employees. The major reason behind its high share of jobs is that people joining the Frontier Corps and the KP Elite Force are mostly from the province.
Balochistan continues to have less employees than its 6pc quota. The total number of its employees working in autonomous bodies stands at 17,270 which accounts for only 4.36pc of the federal jobs. Likewise, a total of 23,226 employees are working in the federal government, accounting for a share of just 4.07pc.
Put together, Balochistan has 40,456 employees working in the federal government and its bodies instead of the 57,996 staff in line with its 6pc quota, showing a shortfall of 17,270.
Sindh too has not been able to secure its full 19pc job quota at the federal level. Sindh’s share should be 183,655 employees but its current strength stands at 166,182, showing a shortfall of 17,473.
Rural areas of Sindh should have 110,193 employees, according to its 11.4pc quota but its existing strength stands at 86,387 — a shortfall of 23,806 employees. In contrast, its urban areas have a larger presence in the federal jobs at 79,795 compared to 73,453 it should have under their 7.6pc quota. Therefore, the urban areas have 6,333 more employees as compared to their quota.
Rural areas of Sindh have 46,691 or 8.18pc jobs in federal government and 39,696 employees in autonomous bodies or 10.02pc share. Urban areas of Sindh have 33,390 employees in the federal government (5.85pc) and 46,405 in autonomous bodies (11.72pc).
Under Article 27 of the original 1973 Constitution, the quotas for the provinces were fixed for 40 years and that period ended in 2013. Soon after coming to power, the PML-N government had decided through a cabinet decision to extend the quota system for another 20 years and introduced a bill in parliament for the purpose.
The bill, however, could not become law in the next five years. As such, the quotas are effectively observed under the cabinet decision without a mandatory constitutional requirement per se.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018