ISLAMABAD Hundreds of senior bureaucrats are getting demoralised seeing their retirements around the corner and bleak chances of promotion despite being qualified in all respects, as the Government has imposed an unannounced moratorium on promotions. A number of background interviews with senior and mid-career bureaucrats revealed that the federal bureaucracys morale had plummeted due to diminishing chances of promotions. Main hurdle in the way of their routine promotions is the Governments snail-paced movement on framing of rules for apex level promotions under the Supreme Court verdict that had reverted the promotions of as many as 54 bureaucrats from grade 22 to grade 21. Even before this judgement, sources said, at least two meetings of the Central Selection Board were pending which means that hundreds of officers in grade 19 and grade 20 are waiting for promotions. As per the standing instructions of the Prime Minister, the CSB should convene twice a year considering promotions from grade 19 to 20 and from grade 20 to 21. How could we get our due promotions while more than fifty posts in grade 21 are occupied by the officers who were demoted under the apex court verdict, questioned a bureaucrat in grade 20 fully qualifying for promotion into the next grade. Ironically they are occupying both - posts in grade 21 and privileges as well as perks of grade 22, he added. Another civil servant observed that the people at the helm of affairs that actually were demoted by the apex court order were deliberately delaying the process of rules finalisation. He was of the view that they were after completing their experience of three years in grade 21 so that they could get promotions even when the new rules were enforced as per the Supreme Court directions of April 28. The Court in its said verdict has desired the formulation of rules in the light of rules of 1994 that required a minimum of three years experience in grade 21 for promotion into grade 22. Therefore, most of top-level bureaucrats affected by this order were lacking this experience. Thus, being placed in highly influential positions, they were deliberately causing or becoming instrumental in causing delays in finalisation of the rules the apex court had required for promotions into grade 22. Resultantly, honest and dedicated civil servants stuck up in grade 19, 20, 21 were getting demoralised in the given scenario of dimmed chances of promotions while they were fast heading to their retirement.