PAKISTAN: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday announced that as part of the civil service reforms, 16-year education would be mandatory for youth seeking careers in the Civil Superior Services (CSS) from 2017.
Maximum age limit for appearance in the CSS examination would also be enhanced by two years to 30 years to make it more competitive, he said talking to media after the conclusion of a day-long “Second Pakistan Governance Forum”.
The minister said it had also been decided to recruit specialists in some civil service groups and a comprehensive training programme would be launched for them.
He said for the first time performance contract had been devised to evaluate the performance of of government officials during one year, which would be forwarded to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for rewarding them. Initially, 11 ministries and divisions had been selected for the purpose, he added.
He said Rs 1 billion Performance Management Fund had been set up. Awards and incentives, he said, would motivate the officers to perform better.
Iqbal said the government would start a Citizen Satisfaction Survey to compile Citizen Satisfaction Index about the public sector institutions’ performance through their inputs.
The government would also set up an Excellence and Innovation Fund to encourage innovative ideas in governance. Similarly, Rs 10 million grants would be extended to those ministries and departments, who brought forth innovative ideas to improve governance and public delivery system, he added.
He said the first generation reforms package had been finalized and would be presented to the PM in January for his approval.
“Reform is an ongoing process. These reforms are being done in consultation with all the stakeholders for creating ownership.
Status quo is the most daunting task. But the present government is fully committed to carry out its agenda of reforms to ensure modernization of public sector and to improve the public delivery system,” he added.
Iqbal said for performance evaluation of civil servants, the present ACR (annual confedential report) system had become obsolete and the new one was being introduced to evaluate them on the basis of attributes of leadership and soft skills.
For the purpose, a new performa was being designed to evaluate the performance using scientific techniques. The e-governance, he said, was recognized as an effective means in the world to modernize the public sector and improve governance.
Iqbal said, “Tax reforms are very critical for our future. Our ambitions for development are huge, which can be financed through mobilization of resources. For this, the government is also focusing to expand tax-to-GDP ratio”.
He said corruption was an evil and the government was committed to root it out by bringing transparency, accountability and better governance in every sphere. Clean track record of the current government was evident from Transparency International’s reports regarding corruption in the country.
Iqbal said that government was investing heavily in education and health sectors and introducing reforms in these areas. For conducive investment climate, reforms for ‘ease of doing business’ by removing the red-tape are also underway.
The minister said that reforms agenda was aimed at introducing participatory and collaborative governance in the country to bring political and economic stability.
Having introduced the prudent and vibrant policies, Pakistan was now a changed country, being a safe haven for billions of dollars investment. Things were now within our grasp to seize the opportunity in the form of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by promoting the optimism and positive thinking in the country, he added.
He hoped that second governance forum would help the government to chalk out future course of action on the reform agenda.
He said that during this year Governance Forum, Governance Expo had also been started that aims to bring opportunity for the ministries and government functionaries to present their achievements directly to the stakeholders and especially to become accountable in front of the public who are the actual custodians of this system.-pt
THE PASHTUN TIMES