Federal ministries to be devolved by June 30
ISLAMABAD: The government has unveiled a three-phase plan to devolve functions of various ministries to the provinces as part of implementation of the 18th Amendment.
Senator Raza Rabbani, the chairman of the commission tasked with overseeing the devolution process, separately told both houses of the parliament on Wednesday that initially the functions of five ministries would be devolved to the provinces by the first week of December.
He said the functions of another five ministries would be devolved to the provinces by the first week of February and the process would be completed by June 30, 2011, meeting the constitutional deadline.
He said the commission had decided that during or after the process of devolution, the employees of the devolved ministries and divisions would not be retrenched, and the terms and conditions of their service would not be changed to their disadvantage.
Mr Rabbani did not say who would meet the additional financial burden on the provinces due to devolution of functions of the ministries having thousands of employees. Analysts believe that seniority in service was also a question that in all probability would spark a controversy in the future.
He said the commission had held a number of meetings with the concerned federal ministers, federal secretaries and other relevant functionaries. The chief secretaries and provincial secretaries of the departments concerned had also been involved in the process.
He said the process of devolution had basically been divided into three segments – administrative affairs, legal aspects and financial functions including assets and liabilities.
He said the commission was functioning on the basic principle of mutual consultation with all the stakeholders. Mr Rabbani said all the matters between the provincial governments and the federal government were being resolved amicably with a view to implementing the devolution process within the timeframe prescribed in the Constitution.