Friday, July 19, 2013

Towards Administrative Reforms, appointment of Chief Executives..Akhtar Ali.

Akhtar Ali  in his seminal book "The Political Economy of Pakistan, An Agenda for Reforms &Restructuring " published in 1995 writes " management& control of autonomous corporations & nationalized banks & DFIs present special problems and issues.Smaller mostly manufacturing operations have now been privatized and are therefore excluded from discussion here.
Autonomous corporations like PIA,WAPDA,OGDC etc& the government controlled Banks &DFIs like NBP and NDFC are not autonomous at all in reality.Interference in strategic and as well as mundane day to day operations is an established practice, both from ministries(Secretariat) and from the political leadership. This goes down to even task assignments, promotions, transfers and still in disciplinary matters.
The Prime minister clears and appoints  the chief  executives of these organizations.No standard or established procedure or requirement is there for such appointments. It is purely arbitrary and mostly political."
It seems that the PML N government has taken notice of this and has appointed a selection board for all such appointments. Ironically the military government of 1991 did not take heed of this although they followed alot of devolution processes to make decentralization possible.
He further suggests "De-politicization of appointment process of CEO, de-bureaucratization of corporation boards &making them more effective and guarantee of tenure of the CEOs."
(Book available with Royal Book Company, Pakistan)
The elected Nawaz Sharif government has rightly made economy, administrative reforms , restructuring and including private sector in its policy and economic inputs as top priorities. Mr Ahsan Iqbal is now heading the Planning Commission of Pakistan which will be making five year short term and further long term plans for projects according to their developmental needs.PML N government needs to further devolve powers to people through local governments as only that will bring about true administrative restructuring.