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Govt to move constitutional amendment seeking implementation of job quota

Govt to move constitutional amendment seeking implementation of job quota

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan on Tuesday assured a parliamentary committee that the government would soon move a constitutional amendment to ensure appointment of government officers/officials as per provincial quota.

Addressing the Senate Functional Committee on Government Assurances, the minister said the amendment would soon be moved and for that the government was trying to muster support of all political parties.

It is worth mentioning that under Article 27 of the 1973 Constitution, the quotas for the provinces were fixed for 40 years, and that period ended in 2013. However, soon after coming to power, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government decided to extend the quota system for another 20 years and introduced a bill in parliament for the purpose. The bill, however, could not become a law over the next five years.

Since it is a constitutional amendment, the government requires a two-thirds majority in parliament to get the bill passed.

Committee chairman Mohammad Tahir Bizenjo, who belongs to the National Party, said that not only the bill should be tabled at the earliest but the quota system should also be implemented in letter and spirit.

“Unfortunately, quota system has never been implemented. Currently, there is not a single federal secretary from Balochistan which is nothing but unfair with less populous provinces,” he added.

He said that since the employment quota had expired in 2013, it should have been extended through constitutional amendment without any delay. Unemployment and sense of deprivation was increasing in Balochistan, he said.

Mr Bizenjo was of the opinion that the bill should be moved at the earliest and he did not see any hindrance in its passage.

“The Pakistan Peoples Party introduced the quota system so it will never go against it. Moreover, all the parties of less populous provinces will also support the bill. We assure you that the bill would easily sail through the National Assembly and the upper house of parliament,” he said.

Other members of the committee also said that the quota system was extremely essential to mitigate the grievances amongst less populous provinces and the underprivileged areas of the country.

Since implementation of the quota was a problematic subject, it was stressed that the parliamentary affairs ministry should look into the implementation of the quota system in letter and spirit.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018

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