Undeserved promotions must stop
It is concerning to learn that government officials in the public administration cadre are getting blanket promotions despite there being no posts against these promotions. According to the calculations of the ministry of public administration, currently there are 5,971 officers working in the ministry. While there are 337 posts of additional secretary, in reality, as many as 433 people are working as additional secretaries, meaning that there are 96 additional secretaries for whom there are no posts. And 717 officials have been promoted to joint secretaries against 502 posts, which means there are 215 more joint secretaries than are designated. The same goes for the positions of deputy secretaries. Moreover, the process of giving new promotions in the ministry is ongoing. Reportedly, this trend of giving promotions without following due procedure has been going on for almost a decade now.
The question is, what purpose will this large pool of high-ranking officials – who have been promoted in these posts despite there being no vacant positions – serve in the ministry, as their job responsibilities do not change with their promotions? Reportedly, most of these newly promoted officials are performing their previous job responsibilities, and no additional responsibilities have been given to them. The question that natural arises is, why then did the ministry give them such blanket promotions? The answer is simple: promoted officials can draw higher salaries and have more perks and benefits. Clearly, these promotions have been given solely to please the officials concerned.
Unfortunately, while a huge amount of public money is spent for government officials – reportedly, more than 25 percent of the total budget for FY 2022-23 has been allocated for salaries and pensions in the public sector – its return has been anything but satisfactory.
Unfortunately, while a huge amount of public money is spent for government officials – reportedly, more than 25 percent of the total budget for FY 2022-23 has been allocated for salaries and pensions in the public sector – its return has been anything but satisfactory. People often complain of not getting their desired service from government offices (and officials). There are also allegations of corruption and irregularities against many government offices. Bribing as a means of getting services from these offices is also a common complaint that people make.
We think, in any modern state, the structure of administration and its posts should be determined as per demand. If there is a need to promote the officials in the public administration cadre, the government must first create the required positions. But by giving blanket promotions, the government has just set a bad precedent, and it is likely that it will create chaos and anarchy in the ministry concerned, the public sector in general and beyond.
We hope the public administration ministry will realise this and stop this culture of unnecessary promotions at the expense of taxpayers. The authorities should rather focus on making the administration more efficient and people-friendly so that people get their desired services without hassle. Most importantly, there should be accountability and transparency in all the works of the administration.