Administrative Changes In The Federal Government Since 2018
This brief report highlights the administrative changes made by the Federal Government of Pakistan on the advice of the task-force formed by the Prime Minister. Only key changes have been identified in this report which may be followed by a critical analysis depending upon results. Special thanks to the Chair and team of Asian Maritime Law Centre for helping us during the preparation of this report.
(August 30, 2019)
1. Online Publishing of Yearbook
Instructions have been given to each Division to publish its yearbook each financial year on its website. Previously, information on activities, achievements, targets and progress was published through the yearbook which was only available as a hard copy. Access to that hard copy had been difficult for the general public due to its availability.
The Secretary of each Division is now responsible to inform the Cabinet Secretary about the availability of the yearbook to be circulated among the Cabinet and all other Divisions.
2. Administrative Control of Regulatory Authorities
Administrative control of the 5 regulatory authorities, namely, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), Frequency Allocation Board (FAB), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), has been reinstated to the Cabinet Division as per the directions made by the august Supreme Court in Mustafa Impex Case.
3. Changes in the Health and Medical Sector
The federal government’s Tuberculosis Centre, Rawalpindi has been removed from the control of the Cabinet Division and has been designated under the supervision of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Division. Similarly, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad and its affiliate institutions Federal Medical Dental College, Islamabad and National Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine have been removed from the control of Capital Administration and Development Division. Similarly, the federal General Hospital, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and National Institute of Handicapped have been transferred under the supervision of the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Division.
Furthermore, agreements and arrangements related to population planning programs, health, drugs and medical facilities internationally, scholarships, fellowships and health training courses from international agencies along with the relationship of the government with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will now be dealt through the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Division.
4. Changes in the Education Sector
Pakistan Chairs abroad and their selection will be supervised through the Federal Education and Professional Training Division. After the dissolution of Capital Administration and Development Division, all institutions and departments working under the federal government are now under the control of Federal Education and Professional Training Division.
5. National History and Literary Heritage Division
The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has been renamed as the Ministry of Federal Education, Professional Training, National History and Literary Heritage after moving National History and Literary Heritage Division from the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage. Consequently, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage has been renamed as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Functions of the National History and Literary Heritage Division have also been expanded as the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage of Pakistan (Lok-Virsa), National Library of Pakistan, and Pakistan National Council of Arts are now part of it. Furthermore, it is now also empowered to handle cultural pacts, Conventions and Protocols. The National Language Authority has been restructured and renamed as the National Language Promotion Department as is now the attached department of this Division.
6. Establishment of a Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division
A new Division has been established for the provision of basic necessities, social protection, protection of the poor and poverty eradication. It will function under the Cabinet Secretariat to enhance policy-making for the alleviation of poverty. It will also engage all the relevant stakeholders to ensure pro-poor policies. The Poverty Alleviation Coordination Council has been established under this Division and the Benazir Income Support Program and Pakistan Bait ul Maal are also made part of it. It will also be responsible for the collection and distribution of zakat and ushr with direction from the Council of Common Interests.
7. Dissolution of Ministry of Statistics and Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division
Statistics Division and the Ministry of Statistics have been dissolved and their functions have been recirculated to the Planning, Development and Reform Division. Administrative control of Pakistan Bureau has also been given to the Planning, Development and Reform Division. Capital Administration and Development Division stands dissolved as well, with its functions distributed among various Divisions.
8. Empowerment of Human Rights Division
Social welfare, education, training and rehabilitation of special children and persons have been placed under the Human Rights Division which is now also empowered to handle international Protocols related to social welfare.
9. Law and Justice Division
In case of dispute settlement through arbitration at the international or national level, any Division can now directly access the Office of the Attorney General of Pakistan without any procedural requisites.
Functions of the Law and Justice Division have been extended to the spheres of Law and Justice Commission and Federal Judicial Academy.
10. Establishment of a Ministry of Postal Services
Postal Services Division has been established under the newly established Ministry of Postal Services supervising Pakistan Posts, Savings Bank and Postal Life Insurance. These matters were previously handled through the Communications Division under the Ministry of Communications.
11. Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Energy
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has been renamed as the Ministry of Energy. Petroleum and Natural Resources Division has been renamed as the Petroleum Division under this Ministry. Water and Power Division has been split into two Divisions, ‘Water Resources Division’ and ‘Power Division’. Power Division has been placed under the Ministry of Energy. Water Resources Division namely the Ministry of Water and Power has been renamed as the Ministry of Water Resources.
12. Other Changes
- The Inter-Provincial Coordination Division will now handle International Organisations and agreements relating to tourism and will supervise the Federal Land Commission.
- Administrative control of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee and the National Fertilizer Development Centre has been given to the National Food Security and Research Division. Plant Breeders’ Rights Registry has also been established under its direct control. Administrative control of the National Fertilizer Development Centre (NFDC) has been transferred to the National Food Security Division.
- Pakistan Environmental Planning and Architectural Consultants Limited has been placed under the Planning, Development and Reform Division.
- Pakistan Halal Authority, established in 2015 but remaining unfunctional, is now under the control of Science and Technology Division.
- The federal government has set up a Hajj and Umrah Directorate under the Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Division.
- Karachi Infrastructure Development Company Limited and Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority are under the direct control of the Cabinet Division. Powers of the federal government under Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act, 2017 are also placed under the Cabinet Division. Administrative control of Sheikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute Lahore has been taken back from the provincial government as per the orders of the Lahore High Court and given back to the Cabinet Division.
- National Energy and Conservation Centre (ENERCON) has now transformed into the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA).
- The Ministry of Textile has been dissolved and the Textile Division has been transferred to the Ministry of Commerce.
- Privatization Division has been removed from the Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs and placed under the newly established Ministry of Privatization.
- The Ministry of Narcotics control has been formed and the Narcotics Control Division has been transferred from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Narcotics Control.
- Ministry of Textile and Ministry of Commerce have been merged into the Ministry of Commerce and Textile.
For a summary of these amendments, see Rules of Business 1973 with amendments up to August 2019.
Report prepared by The Maritime Jurist in collaboration with Asian Maritime Law Centre (AMLC 2018)
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any other organization with which he might be associated.