Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat in its meeting on Thursday discussed the proposal for constitution of Pakistan Engineering Service for the Civil Servant Engineers submitted by the Pakistan Engineering council. Chairman PEC while briefing the committee said that at present not a single person with Engineering background is working in grade 22 and only one 1 Engineer in grade 21 in the civil service of the country and all the decisions taken relating to jobs requiring specialised Engineering expertise are being taking by non-professional people. He proposed having a parallel system of testing for engineers alongside the CSS examination.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Talha Mehmood here at the Parliament House on Thursday and was attended among others by Senators Kalsoom Parveen, Javed Abbasi, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mushahidullah Khan, Rubina Khalid, Asad Ashraf, Najma Hameed, Anwar Lal Deen, Ashok Kumar, Rukhsana Zuberi, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati, Secretary Establishment Division, and officials form the ministry and relevant organisations. The committee members while discussing the matter remarked that many ministries including power, energy, planning, science and technology, water etc are now of technical nature and proposed that no person other than an engineer should lead these bodies.
The Committee members were unanimously in favour of the proposal and agreed that the Engineers should be given a specific cadre in the civil service. The minister was of the view that the special committee constituted under Dr. Ishrat Hussain may be heard as a relevant stakeholder so that it may be known if they are working on any such proposal under the ambit if it’s reforms. The Committee decided to take information as to how many non-professional people are working on engineering posts. The Committee recommended constituting this cadre for engineers as Pakistan engineering services.
The Committee discussed at length a public petition regarding the proposal of screening test by FPSC for competitive examinations. The Committee left the decision of introducing or not introducing the test but at the same time recommended to reduce the time duration of the exam as reasonably as possible for the Federal Public Service Commission.
The public petition by Princess Zainab, mother of Jam Kamal regarding Flashman’s Hotel Rawalpindi was also discussed in the meeting. The Committee was told by FIA that the matter is a property and share dispute between two parties and SECP, TDCP and military lands administration should sit together and sort out the matter as there is no criminality found in the matter and FIA is not mandated to handle it. The Committee expressed dissatisfaction at the situation of the hotel despite being at the prime location in the city and decided to take 10 year record of the hotel’s performance and details.
The Committee had on its agenda a discussion on actions taken by NEPRA and K-Electric on what SOPs have been adopted after the deaths and accidents in the recent monsoon spell due to electrocution and what measures have been taken including compensation for the affected families. Absence of K-Electric officials from the meeting aroused apprehension from the Committee and decided to take strict actions if they don’t make it to next meeting. Chairman NEPRA told the meeting that out of the total deaths around 13 were due to the new system installed by K-Electric and people are dying every day. The new system with ADM insulation was faulted and it didn’t have the necessary earthen in the electricity cables. The Committee decided to hear more in the matter in the next meeting. The Committee also asked for information about the total number of deaths so far entirely due to the new meeting system and also asked NEPRA to give details of any and all violations being committed by K-Electric.