LAHORE: The Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department has finally rejected the Parks and Horticulture Authority’s (PHA) proposal to once again extend the deputation of Bagh-e-Jinnah Project Director.

Though the summary has been forwarded to the CM Office for final decision, the official sources disclosed the other day.

“As such, further extension in deputation for another one year, as proposed by the Parks and Horticulture Authority, Lahore in favour of Shahid Iqbal, PD Baghe-e-Jinnah, would be in violation of three years prescribed period of deputation.”The Secretary HUD wrote. “The HUD&Public Health Engineering Department, there, does not support the recommendations of the PHA Lahore regarding extension in deputation for another period of one year wef 29/6/16 to 28/6/17 (8th year), in favour of Shahid Iqbal PD Bagh-e-Jinnah in violation of deputation policy, 1998” the HUD secretary added.

It is not yet clear, what the CM office takes decision on the deputation case. However, it is on the record that the Secretary to the CM Punjab Imdadullah Bosal on the same case had written “, “The deputationists cannot be allowed to continue for unlimited period as it will not only create a bad precedent but also encourage others to make similar requests. Therefore, the departments should avoid submitting proposals which are against the deputation policy.”

But, the officials told that the PD Shahid Iqbal had once again politically approached the CM office for another extension ignoring the rules and regulations as he managed the things last year as well.

Overruling these comments, the CM had given Iqbal another extension on March 2015. After consecutive seven years, the official desired more relaxation in the deputation policy. And, contrary to its earlier stance, the CM Office sought summary for extension on his application.

Rejecting a report in favour of the PDA, a PHA official requesting anonymity claimed that the PD allowed utilizing the garden premises for commercial purposes. Mini football ground was being used commercially, the official said. However, the beehives, honeybee houses, being auctioned were banned by the PD Iqbal thus causing loss to the kitty. The PD did not even have approval from the Finance department in this regard, the official held. Talking about the reason, he said that the PD had developed differences with the honeybee contractor.

This time the same situation has emerged and the same PD wanted another extension from the CM office despite the fact that the same Secretary to CM was at office that once rejected the proposal declaring it illegal.  

The Supreme Court had issued directions during 2015 that the deputationists should be withdrawn. The Establishment division had acted on it and many officers appointed on deputation had to report to their parent departments. The deputationists had been working in different federal institutions leaving their own departments like FIA, PIA, NAB, Pakistan Steel, Establishment Division, SSGPL, Agriculture Bank of Pakistan, EOBI, Port Qasim Authority etc. There are also courts degrees that deputationists who get extensions after relaxation in the policy violate promotion rights of the borrowing organisation. “The promotions of PHA officers working in the department for years are at stake” said an officer on condition of anonymity. The Punjab government should not allow violation of rules just to oblige some person, he said. A senior officer of the S&GAD on officers' overstay on deputation said, “The federal government had directed all the lending and borrowing departments to strictly monitor these postings and violation of rules if any”. The officer further observed that there were many instances of government officials remaining on deputation for years together, moving from one department to another and even to other statutory or autonomous bodies and their stay in their parent department remained very limited. This practice and misuse of the relevant rules damaged the officials working in their parent organizations.