Murad irked by secretaries’ absence in surprise visit to Sindh Secretariat

Published March 2, 2024
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah visits  New Sindh Secretariat on March 1. — X/SindCMHouse
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah visits New Sindh Secretariat on March 1. — X/SindCMHouse

KARACHI: Expressing extreme displeasure over the absence of the administrative secretaries and heads of provincial government departments in their respective office, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday directed the chief secretary to ensure their availability during office hours.

Official sources told Dawn that the CM was utterly disappointed and displeased when he found secretaries of departments absent during his visit to New Sindh Secretariat, also housing his office at the seventh floor.

The sources said that the chief minister started his morning with surprise visits to check dewater machinery in the low-lying areas and to check the attendance of officers at the New Secretariat, where he was welcomed by Chief Secretary Dr Fakhre Alam.

They said the CM noticed that several secretaries were absent from their offices by 9.30am during his visit and instructed the chief secretary to issue directives to the department’s secretaries to arrive on time at their offices, saying that the lower cadre of staff would be punctual only if the secretaries reached their offices on time.

He also visited the office of General Administration Secretary Muhammad Ali Khoso on the second floor to find him absent. Then the chief minister climbed the stairs to third floor to the office of Works and Services Secretary Nawaz Sohoo, who had also not reached his office by then, said the sources.

Food Secretary Nasir Abbas Soomro was not either available at his office on the fourth floor to add to the displeasure of the chief minister. Nor was Health Secretary Dr Mansoor Rizvi present in his sixth-floor office when the chief minister visited it.

Later in the afternoon, the principal secretary of the chief minister wrote a letter to the chief secretary, expressing the CM’s displeasure over the absence of the secretaries in their respective offices during the office timings.

The letter to the chief secretary said that the observance of punctuality in office was a linchpin of effective governance and the chief minister had noticed the absence of the secretaries in their offices. “Consequently, this negative trend affects lower formations, office discipline and causes inconvenience for the public as well,” it added.

“The directions and displeasure of the chief minister may please be conveyed to all the administrative secretaries for compliance in order to enhance the efficiency of the departments in public interest.

The sources said that the CM had sent a clear message to the top bureaucrats to maintain punctuality, otherwise further action would be taken against them.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2024

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