The ever-increasing trend of continuously establishing new authorities and companies shows that administrative departments of the Punjab Government have failed to deliver. As a consequence, two parallel systems are functioning in the public sector. This issue demands immediate attention as hard- earned taxes are spent on the salaries of ineffectual government employees working in redundant departments that have had their share of responsibilities outsourced to another “relevant” authority.

Up till now, the Punjab government has established nearly 26 authorities, adding to over 40 administrative departments already working in the province. The larger problem remains the removal of red tape and political interference in public departments. The whole purpose of establishing a new authoritative body without reforming the existing department is counterproductive.

Some of the newly formed departments have had some success like the Punjab Food Authority (PFA), that was established even while there was a food department and food inspectors in the district governments to check adulteration. Yet the PFA, under the guidance of Ayesha Mumtaz did what was unthinkable, stood up to those in position of influence and power and did their job without fear of repercussion. Just when the public started to believe these authorities could actually bring reform, she was sent on a “long leave” for allegedly having irked some influential people.

The other issue is that the Punjab government has appointed MPAs as directors of companies. This was even challenged in the courts to no effect. Politicians and bureaucrats are hired against very high packages in these companies, almost 10-15 times higher than their counterparts coming through the civil service route.

There is almost no pressure put on the provincial government for these lacunae, when in reality they form a bedrock of national corruption and bad governance that the whole nation is reeling from.