LAHORE: The Punjab government has plans to go for a ‘major surgery’ in the governance structure of the province for, what it calls, long-term betterment.
Former bureaucrats on Saturday briefed a meeting of the Advisory Council on Governance in Punjab, chaired by senior minister Aleem Khan and attended by some 15 departments’ ministers and secretaries.
It is learnt that former bureaucrat Salman Shah in his presentation told the meeting that there were missing links among different departments in the Punjab government. He suggested that the departments, including agriculture, irrigation and livestock could work together.
Similarly, he said, the sports, youth affairs and tourism departments could coordinate their work.
Mr Shah said the recommendations had been prepared keeping in view the ground realities and department-wise proposals were ready.
The provincial ministers for agriculture, education, health, livestock, forests, tourism, finance, industries, women development, labour, social welfare etc expressed their views and discussed different proposals.
The senior minister said changes would be brought in the governance structure to ensure long-term betterment in the province. He said only “capable” officers would be supported, who would assist the government by showing best performance and added that there would be no pick and chose policy.
Mr Khan said the government would consult renowned economists, as well as former bureaucrats, to introduce wide-scale reforms. He said no leniency would be tolerated in implementing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan as provision of basic needs to the masses had already been delayed.
Chiding the previous PML-N government for introducing “illogical and poor” policies, he said there were a number of issues that needed to be resolved.
Dr Ishrat Hussain, adviser to prime minister on institutional reforms and austerity, called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and discussed measures regarding reforms, reconstruction, savings and austerity in government departments.
The chief minister said two task forces had been formed for reforms in government departments and institutions to implement the prime minister’s vision. He said the government wanted to carry out institutional reforms at a quicker pace to improve performance of departments.
Mr Buzdar also stated that the PTI government had set new examples of austerity at every level, adding a considerable reduction had been brought in the expenditures of CM’s office and other departments.
Dr Hussain stressed the need to focus on performance management and added that institutional reforms should lead to improve the departments’ performance.
The principal secretary to chief minister, food secretary and other senior officers attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018