Pemra makes 350 political appointments -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pemra makes 350 political appointments

Abdul Sattar Khan

LAHORE: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has made around 350 politically motivated appointments in a flagrant violation of the merit.

During the year 2009-2010, these political appointments, in many cases, took away either the entire range of quota reserved for various federating units of the country or caused a considerable slash in their quota. A cursory glance at these appointments shows that in a bid to appease their political bosses, the Pemra authorities did not even bother to fill even those few seats on merit which were exclusively reserved to be filled on merit. In many such appointments, the Pemra authorities even resorted to cadre violation while ignoring with impunity the sanctioned strength of technical or non technical posts.

Ranging from the general manager (grade-19), deputy general manager (grade 18), assistant general manager (grade 17) posts to the level of the lowest formation of the workforce, which includes naib qasid, driver, clerk etc, almost the entire range of posts was filled with politically backed candidates. To begin with, Pemra had advertised five posts of general managers PS-9 equivalent to grade 19, two of which were technical and three non technical. On the basis of quota reserved for various federating units of the country, one post was reserved on merit while the rest of four posts had been divided on quota basis which include two for Punjab, one each for Sindh (urban) and Sindh (rural).

However, contrary to these arrangements, two GMs were recruited from Sindh (rural) instead of one while the quota of Sindh (urban) was usurped depriving the suitable candidates from Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. Not only the authorities resorted to quota violation, obviously under political pressure, they further committed another violation i.e. cadre violation. Instead of recruiting two general managers (technical) and three general managers (non-technical), these posts were filled with four non-technical GMs and one technical GM.

Similarly, for the posts of deputy general managers PS-8, which is equivalent to grade 18, the Pemra advertised six posts – four technical and two non-technical. Out of four GM technical posts, three were reserved for Punjab and one for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while for the two posts of GM non-technical, one each was reserved for Sindh (rural) and Sindh (urban).

However, at the time of appointments, Pemra recruited nine deputy general managers instead of six posts advertised in the media. On account of quota violation, Pemra recruited five DGMs from Punjab instead of three, two from Sindh (rural) instead of one and two from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa instead of one reserved for the federating unit. Likewise, Pemra has recruited 32 monitoring supervisors PS-4 (grade-12) as against 10 posts which were duly advertised. Apart from recruiting 32 monitoring supervisors much more than the advertised posts, Pemra has violated the quota system by recruiting 22 monitoring supervisors from Punjab as against its quota of five, six from Sindh rural against its quota of one, while the rest of only four posts were filled as per the quota reserved for other federating units.

Against the two posts of key punch operator PS-4 (grade-12) which was duly advertised, Pemra appointed 20 key punch operators. At the cost of merit, 10 were appointed from Punjab against its quota of one, seven from Sindh (rural) despite the fact that not a single post was reserved for Sindh (rural). Likewise, one each key punch operator was posted from Sindh (urban) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa though not a single post was reserved for these two federating units.

In the same way, Pemra filled four posts of accounts assistant PS-4 (grade-12) against two posts which were advertised in the newspapers. Two posts were filled from Punjab against one post of its quota and Sindh (urban) has been favoured with one post whereas no post was reserved for this federating unit. One post was filled from Sindh (rural) as per its quota of one post.

As many as 25 appointments of receptionists and telephone operators PS-3 (grade-7) were made against just two posts which were advertised in the media. In violation of quota, Punjab appeared to be the most favoured province as it got 14 posts against its allocation of just one post. Almost same was the case with Sindh (rural), which did not have any quota for this post and got five posts. Sindh (urban) was another unit which got four posts despite the fact that there was not a single post allocated to it. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also got one post each against none. In this process of following the dictation of the political leadership, the only post which was reserved for merit had also been taken away.

Pemra advertised five posts of photocopier machine operator PS-2 (grade-2) but recruited 14. Of these 14 appointments, six were recruited from Punjab against its quota of two, five persons were inducted from Sindh (rural) against its quota of one, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa got two posts against its allocation of one post. Sindh (urban) got one post as was allocated to it.

As many as 52 naib-qasids were recruited against 30 posts advertised while the rest have never been advertised. Once again Sindh (rural) appeared to be most favoured province as it got 10 posts against its allocation of just two posts while Punjab has also found itself at a favourable situation with 26 posts against its allocation of 15 posts.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was another province which has taken seven posts against the allocation of three while Fata/Fana got three posts against its reserved seats of two. AJK also managed to have one post against its zero allocation. Strangely enough two posts, which were exclusively reserved to be filled through merit, had been filled on merit. Balochistan got all the three posts against its share of three. When various federating units were being accommodated above its quota allocation, Sindh (urban) was not allowed to have its share despite the allocation of three posts.

Though Pemra advertised few posts for various scales but subsequently inducted much more than the advertised number of posts, there are two posts i.e. clerk PS-2 (grade-2) and chowkidar PS-1 (grade-1) which have never been advertised but Pemra appointed 39 candidates to fill these two posts without even bothering to advertise even a single post. Since not a single post was advertised in the newspapers so there was no quota allocated to any of the province. As far as the number of posts allotted to various provinces without having any number of seats allotted to them, Punjab got nine posts of clerk and 11 posts of chowkidar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa got one post of clerk and four posts of chowkidar while Sindh (rural) and Sindh (urban) got three posts each of chowkidar.

A total of 13 drivers were appointed in PS-2 (grade-2) against 10 advertised posts. Of them, Punjab got seven posts against its allocation of three, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa got three against one allocated post, Sindh (urban) got one against none. Sindh (rural), Fata/Fana and Balochistan got its exact amount of allocated posts of one each. Here once again two posts, which were reserved to be filled through merit, had not been filled on merit basis and instead these two posts too have been sacrificed to accommodate the favourites in the name of quota. Two electricians were appointment against one post which was advertised. Punjab got one post against its quota of one while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was favoured with one post as there was no quota reserved for this province.

Dr Abdul Jabbar, Acting Chairman Pemra, told this reporter on phone that every possible step has been taken to ensure the process black and white and allow only the eligible candidates to be selected purely on the basis of their personal capabilities.
Source: The News