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Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
10 Muharram 1446  

Several civil servants face axe as Punjab approves restructuring plan

Punjab CM Maryam Nawaz Sharif forms 14-member special “high-level” committee
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz presides over a meeting in Lahore on June 14, 2024. Photo via Facebook
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz presides over a meeting in Lahore on June 14, 2024. Photo via Facebook

Several government employees in Punjab are facing the axe as the provincial government decides to shut down many public institutions to reform the governance system.

Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif has formed a 14-member special “high-level” committee and tasked it with preparing recommendations within 60 days.

Last week, the provincial government unveiled a Rs5.3 billion budget for the fiscal year 2024-25. The government plans to collect nearly Rs472 billion in direct and indirect taxes during the next fiscal.

Under this initiative, “redundant, inefficient and loss-making government departments and agencies” would be downsized or shut down. Senior Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb would be the convener of the Restructuring Committee while Finance Minister Mujtaba Shuja and the law minister would also be part of the committee.

While the restructuring holds the promise of improved governance, it also poses risks to the jobs of civil servants, as the downsizing of government institutions could lead to layoffs.

The aim is to streamline the governance system by merging or eliminating duplicate departments performing the same functions, according to the provincial government’s statement. The volume of ministries would be reduced and overlapping organisations would be consolidated to improve efficiency in handling official matters.

This restructuring and downsising exercise is expected to result in “billions of rupees in savings, creating fiscal space” for the government. The Punjab chief minister has already approved the restructuring plan.

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Maryam praised the departments concerned for their “excellent management” of Eidul Azha. The successful ‘Zero Waste Mission’ that ran for 72 continuous hours during the occasion was an “excellent example of collaborative effort,” she said and noted that the cleanliness drive in cities and major rural areas was carried out in an “exemplary manner”.

Furthermore, the provincial chief minister highlighted that under the ‘Digital Punjab’ vision, free Wi-Fi service was being provided to the people. She emphasised that in emergencies, people can use the free Wi-Fi to contact the police and other authorities.

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Maryam Nawaz Sharif