LAHORE     -    The much-anticipated reshuffle in Punjab cabinet has been put on hold as the ministers whose portfolios were likely to be changed have been given time to improve their performance, it was learnt on Friday.

The portfolios of at least five ministers were likely to be changed in the preceding month because of their ‘bad performance’.

Sources say that these ministers have now been asked to have close liaison with the PTI MPAs in their respective districts so that they could resolve people’s issues. They have also been instructed to regularly visit their constituencies in order to remain in touch with the electorate.

Earlier, there were reports that Prime Minister Imran Khan was not satisfied with the performance of some of the ministers and wanted to change their portfolios. He had also taken up the matter with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar who did the necessary working on it.

The provincial ministers whose names were under consideration for change of portfolios included Agriculture Minister Malik Noman Ahmad Langrial, Minister for Women Development, Ashifa Riaz Ahmad, Minister for Population Welfare Hashim Dogar, Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid and Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development Hussnain Bahadur Dareshak.

These ministers had then questioned the likely reshuffle, maintaining that there was no set criterion to evaluate the performance of a minister who could only give policy guidelines to the administrative secretary heading their department. They had then also pleaded that the government should first set the key performance indicators and then pass a judgment on their performance.

It merits mention here that Punjab government’s rules of business limit the role of a minister in his or her department. Under the rules, a minister cannot execute his policy without cooperation of the administrative secretary who reports to the chief secretary and the chief minister.

Frequent transfers and postings of administrative secretaries in various departments is another issue hampering their performance. Ministers say that it takes time to develop a working relationship with an administrative secretary in order to execute the policies.