OGRA is warned by a Senate panel for not taking action against unregistered LPG manufacturers.

After conducting a thorough investigation, the Senate Cabinet Secretariat Committee found that unregistered LPG manufacturers who violated the law by selling subpar cylinders and causing incidents of the most dangerous cylinder blasts under the existing law have not yet been prosecuted or found guilty.

The assessment will be conducted, and if it is found to be fruitless, the committee will move against the organisation, the chair noted. The committee expressed a deep sense of regret to OGRA for such negligent performance from a crucial organisation, and warned OGRA that if they failed to compete for the challenges of the gas cylinder blast diligently, the assessment will be carried out.

The OGRA repeatedly informed the committee that it was unable to locate any records of FIRs lodged in relation to violations of Section 286. The committee ordered OGRA six weeks to implement its recommendations, which included measures to make it legal and mandatory for unlicensed sellers to register, set deadlines, issue warnings, advertise, and provide comprehensive specifications (quality and quantity))to be used in the manufacturing of LPG cylinders.

The committee was also given the go-ahead to schedule meetings with the Ministry of Law and Justice to review the draught that had been prepared to amend the Pakistan Penal Code in order to strengthen the penalties for those who increased LPG cylinder blasts that posed a threat to property or human life.

The Special Central Superior Services (CSS) Examination, 2023, was thoroughly explained to the Senate Cabinet Secretariat Committee on Tuesday. The committee also discussed reforming the educational system in underdeveloped areas to better prepare candidates who are qualified and deserving of joining the civil service. The chair bemoaned the staggering number of candidates who failed the difficult examination, particularly those from rural areas.

The Establishment Division informed it that 52 open positions currently belong to Punjabi non-Muslim candidates. It was stated that the provision of age relaxation by 32 years and one additional opportunity during the Special Central Superior Services (CSS) Examination, 2023 will boost chances of success. It was explained that candidates from Punjab and AJK who fall under the minority quota, women and minorities from KPK, and all candidates from Sindh (R), Sindh (U), Balochistan, and Ex-FATA are eligible for the special CSS opportunity.

Also, it was explained that two application phases for custom CSS were permitted. The first phase lasted from December 18, 2022, to January 4, 2023, while the second phase lasted from February 26, 2023, to March 14, 2023. A total of 44,238 applications have been received as of 8-03-2023.

It was disclosed that the MPT-qualified candidates will receive coaching for the required subjects and interviews from June to August. For each open position that falls under the special CSS respect quota, four candidates will be chosen. For additional discussion on actual practise and its oversight, the topic was postponed.

The Federal Public Service Commission’s (FPSC) recruitment of Senate officers at the BPS-17 and above grades was covered in full. The Joint Secretary of the Senate Secretariat argued that a transparent and equitable process must be used based on merit in order to make appointments in accordance with the specific instructions of the Senate Chairman on eradicating the culture of political influence on hiring decisions.

According to him, the Senate Chairman updated the Senate Secretariat Services Act in 2017 and subsequently informed the Senate Secretariat Service Rules for 2021. According to his statement, the Senate Secretariat Service Act of 2017 and the Senate Secretariat Services Regulations of 2017 have been examined and the required adjustments have been made to the amended Act and revised Service Rules in accordance with the Chairman Senate’s instructions.

He stated that the FPSC should be used for all BPS -17 and above recruitments, as stressed by the Chairman Senate. The Senate Secretariat’s service regulations and the FPSC’s recruitment guidelines, according to the FPSC Secretary, are at odds with one another. The subject also involves a number of procedural concerns and needs some minor anomalies to be fixed.

The FPSC authorities recommended that the Establishment Division review Senate service regulations and make any necessary changes to the FPSC Act in order to allay these worries. Additionally, they argued that positions in BPS-16 should also be forwarded to the FPSC from the Senate once the mandate issue is settled and opposed the distribution of solely BPS-17 and above to the commission.

The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was proposed by Senators Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Hidayat Ullah, Zeeshan Khan Zada, and Dilawar Khan, was also thoroughly discussed. The bill’s goal is to change the Civil Servant Act so that rehiring civil servants is not permitted as a general practise.

The rightful expectation of a civil servant to be promoted to a higher position is denied, according to Senator Muzafar Hussain Shah, when another civil servant who has since attained the age of superannuation is re-inducted into a senior post.

The officials of the Establishment Division did not support the proposed revision and noted that employment under the act is allowed in order to make a pool of experience accessible at the disposal of the Government. Also, a thorough and rigid procedure is followed for re-employment.

He further noted that the re-employment does not constitute a promotional block and retention of the retiring officer is for a predetermined duration in the public interest. The committee tabled the topic for further debate and requested a list of information on each officer’s re-employment, including any regular positions they may have held.

Senators Kamil Ali Agha, Muzafar Hussain Shah, and Syed Waqar Mehdi were present at the meeting. Secretary FPSC, Addl Secretary Establishment Division, Chairman OGRA, and Senior officers from the Ministry of Law and Justice and Senate Secretariat were also in attendance.

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