Punjab govt’s media consultants: Hiring and firing goes side by side
LAHORE: A committee is recommending removal of media consultants while another is recommending appointment of another at the same time, showing contradiction in thought and action of the Punjab government.
Two relatives of two columnists who are federal government’s employees having nothing to do with the administration have also been brought into the province for some important assignments in violation of a recently formed policy under which seven officials of non-administrative groups have been repatriated to the federal government and the remaining are about to follow the suit.
Official sources informed Dawn on Friday a committee formed by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif under Chief Secretary Nasir Khosa to recommend removal of those enjoying high pays and perks as heads or members of task forces or otherwise recently detected 14 media consultants hired by the Punjab information department at hefty pay packages.
After declaring them a burden on the provincial kitty, the committee recommended removal of half of the consultants and sought approval of the chief minister in this regard. The removal of the remaining consultants was in the pipeline, sources said.
They said when the committee under the chief secretary was shedding the burden on the provincial government, another committee under Additional Chief Secretary Sami Saeed was interviewing some more candidates for the appointment of yet another media consultant.
The candidates included Mr Rauf Hasan who was earlier engaged as media consultant by the Punjab government, giving him the highest pay package of MP-I and later appointing him director general of the Punjab Public Relations Directorate. Mr Hasan resigned after his appointment was challenged.
Sources said that now the government had formed a committee to “formally” select the consultant. And it had now selected three to four candidates including Mr Hasan and forwarded a summary to the chief minister to pick one of them for the slot.
In another development, officials said, brother of an Islamabad based columnist who works in the labour ministry, and son of a Lahore based columnist who belongs to the customs group have been brought in the Punjab government for posting.
The sources said this had been done in violation of an earlier policy under which at least seven officials of other groups who were serving in Punjab were recently repatriated to the federal government. The repatriation of the remaining was on the cards, they said.