Governor to eclipse CM in new set-up
By Khawaja Naseer
LAHORE: The incoming chief minister will have to live with drastically reduced powers, as the four crucial provincial departments will no longer fall in the chief minister’s domain. Finance, Home, Local Government and Rural Development (LG&RD) and Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) would continue to function under the governor’s command, sources told Daily Times on Monday.
In the past, the chief ministers enjoyed complete authority in provincial matters in a democratic government and the governor was merely the representative of the federation. It seems that the tables have turned.
Well-informed provincial government sources said on Monday that despite the transfer of all executive and administrative powers to the new CM, it has been decided that a committee headed by the provincial additional chief secretary would be formed to deal with financial matters.
Sources added that though the provincial government would sanction the budgets for the fiscal year, this committee would review the long and short-term grants for development and non-development schemes and which would then be approved by the governor.
Sources revealed that the district nazims had a number of reservations against the provincial government’s expected interference in the district government budgets and their authority. This led to the governor’s call for a consultancy committee to deal with the matter. Later it was decided that district governments would be given priority over provincial governments in case of differences between district and provincial governments, and the governor would remain the final authority.
Sources also said that until a decision on the provincial police service structure by the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), the authority to transfer senior police officers within the province would remain with the governor.
It has also been decided that district governments will form Public Safety Commissions (PSCs) for effective implementation of law, sources added.
Sources said that although the formulation of district governments had minimised the administrative role of S&GAD, now orders to transfer and post bureaucrats within the province would have to have the governor’s approval.
Sources added that in the presence of a strong local government system and where most administrative powers lay with the governor, not to mention the Legal Framework Order, the new CM would have a tough time accommodating his allies.
Commenting on the administrative powers of the forthcoming CM, a senior bureaucrat said Chaudhry Pervaz Elahi, the likely Punjab CM, would be facilitated to some extent due to his close ties with the bureaucracy. He added that under the NRB reforms, the provincial government would now be restricted to legislation.