ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Wednesday issued notices to 15 ministries and institutions including the Senate Secretariat, the Supreme Court and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking explanations for why they did not provide employee data to the Establishment Division.

The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat issued the directives on a point of public importance raised by Senator Dr Sikandar Mandhro regarding the implementation of the provincial quota in new services provided by the federal government.

Dr Mandhro said he raised this issue last September, but it has yet to be settled.

“According to the rules, Punjab has a 50pc quota in jobs, Sindh has 19pc, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has 11.5pc, Balochistan 6pc, Gilgit-Baltistan 4pc and Azad Kashmir 2pc, [while] 7.5pc of vacancies should be filled on [the basis of] merit.

“However, Sindh and Balochistan have been deprived of their share, as 29,000 seats for Sindh and 17,000 seats for Balochistan have not been filled, while Punjab and KP have exceeded their allocated quotas,” he said.

Establishment Division Additional Secretary-I Akhtar Jehanzeb Wazir said some ministries and divisions have not provided data regarding their employees despite a number of reminders.

“We cannot give a clear picture of employees and the violation of provincial quotas unless we get details from all the ministries. We wrote letters to the secretaries of all ministries and divisions; the Senate Secretariat denied the provision of information and said we should contact the Senate chairman,” Mr Wazir told the committee.

He added: “Other ministries and institutions that did not provide any data include the Senate Secretariat, SC, NAB, Law and Justice Division, Railways, State and Frontier Region, Information Technology and Telecommunications and Housing and Works.”

“Seven divisions have provided incomplete data, including the Cabinet Division, the ministries of defence, interior, power, petroleum and federal education and professional training, and the Postal Services,” he said.

Committee chair Senator Talha Mehmood said it was unfortunate that the Establishment Division could not obtain the necessary data for almost a year.

“We cannot wait another 10 years for the data and have been left with no choice but to issue notices to all the divisions [asking] why they did not bother to provide data to the Establishment Division,” Senator Mehmood said.

Agreeing with the chair, Dr Mandhro said there was a great sense of deprivation among the smaller provinces that they blame other provinces for.

Senator Mehmood directed the committee secretariat to issue the notices, saying: “They should attend a committee meeting and explain why they did not bother to provide the data.”

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2019