While it remains a blind adherent to fiscal conservatism, the government has not been able to reel in its expenditure over the last year. The situation of the public sector is a picture of inefficiency- overstaffed and overextended, with corruption, politicisation and little accountability.

The situation is such that secretariat and public-sector agencies have armies of peons, clerks and staff. There are multiple agencies with overlapping functions, while nothing really gets done due to bureaucratic red tape. Additionally, routine regularisation makes the hiring and firing of staff impossible regardless of their performance. In the higher education sector especially, teachers that are fired for bad performance end up in court with a stay order, and continue at their respective institutions. This is to the extent that public service is more about what an officer is entitled to than the level of service he can provide to a recipient.

In Civil Service, there is hardly any suitability of an academic degree to job function and those on the top build a force under them by means of patronage rather than merit. Transfers between departments follow the same rules of popularity and a person with a degree in English can be sitting drinking tea in the finance ministry. Information on procedures is not readily available, and even if one goes through government websites and instructions, they are difficult to understand for the common man. Anyone who has tried e-registration for an NTN number, for example, knows how hard the government makes it to be a good citizen. Enforcement of rules and regulations is entirely non-transparent and one needs either bribes, or a man on the inside to get anything done. Former Governor Shahid Kardar writes in an article in Dawn that these officers are the “chosen race,” treated as superior human beings to professionals in the public sector. They are entitled to guaranteed promotions over time. Only in Pakistan could the bureaucracy have come up with its own economics of entitlement, and grown to be such a gigantic force of utter uselessness.