LAHORE: The Punjab government has approved amendments to the rules of business to make South Punjab Civil Secretariat more empowered and independent.

“The Governor of the Punjab is pleased to make the following amendments in the Punjab government Rules of Business 2011 with immediate effect,” said a notification issued by the Punjab chief secretary on Tuesday.

The notification, available with Dawn, states that the Punjab Cabinet has approved amendments to the rules of business to empower the South Punjab Secretariat.

Under the new rules, the additional chief secretary South Punjab has been empowered just like the chief secretary.

“South Punjab means the area consisting of the revenue jurisdictions of districts Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Khanewal, Lodhran, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur and Vehari,” reads the notification.

Under the new rules of business, the additional chief secretary and 12 secretaries of various departments have been empowered to issue transfer and posting orders of the employees from BPS-1 to BPS-18 while the secretaries can recruit employees from BPS-1 to 16. The departmental secretaries have also been given power to suspend any employee up to BPS-18.

Under the new rules, 16 departmental secretaries would work in the South Punjab Secretariat. The departments working in the region include Agriculture Department, Board of Revenue, Communication and Works Department, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, Higher Education Department, Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department, Irrigation Department, Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Local Government and Community Development Department, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, School Education Department and Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said the south Punjab Secretariat would deal with 11 districts and the government had appointed its additional chief secretary and other employees. He said the additional chief secretary office was empowered to use funds and also recruit new employees, adding that for the first time in the history of the country, Rs190bn funds, around 33pc of total budget, were sanctioned for south Punjab.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2021

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