Much controversial but equally protected chapter of the task forces has been closed by the Punjab government, though a notification is yet to be issued in this regard.
As per sources at the Civil Secretariat, the Services and General Administration Department has not received any order from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat for issuing the notification; thereby dissolving the ‘brainy’ task forces, which had eventually become a political muscle of the Punjab government over a period.
However, provincial government’s spokesperson, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed told The Nation that Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif had ordered for suspending the task forces immediately after the devastating floods. “Certainly, not all the members of the task forces were being paid any salary, but the CM, in order to save maximum money for the flood-affectees, has ordered suspension of the working of the forces,” he added.
As per source, complete closure of the chapter would be done once a notification would be issued. “Due to this, neither the disbursement of salaries has been stopped nor have vehicles been returned to the government by chairmen and members of the task forces,” he said, while mentioning that the move is part of government’s austerity measures, while the latter has also decided to take back the official vehicles, and withdraw of perks and privileges.
In the last week of August this year, the govt had suspended six task forces “because they had become a burden on public finances,” observed the source.
A notable move adopted after the floods was the closing down of yet another controversial project of Sasti Roti Scheme, while diverting Rs5 billion towards flood relief.