LAHORE - The Punjab government has withdrawn its plan to permanently adjust widows of Balochistan officials deputed in Punjab, The Nation has learnt.

A good number of Balochistan officials are deputed in different departments of the Punjab government. However, the government had a special plan to relax the rules for the woman officials whose husband died while serving in Balochistan. A majority of such officials are teachers, nurses and deputed in the departments of education and health departments of Punjab.

Since the government has no data of such officials, a special committee - comprising secretaries of higher education, finance, health, women welfare and regulation departments - directed the higher education department to gather information about the officials from Balochistan.

Their cases for extension will be considered person to person basis.

A meeting in this regard was held and data was presented in the meeting.

“A policy cannot be devised for such small number of officers posted in the province” said a secretary of Punjab government.

He told that all this was being done to adjust a widow who had already availed all relaxations. Last time, the extension was given to her on the condition that it would be the last extension. “The same practice was revised this year” said the officer.

There is a special relaxation for the widows of government servants who were posted in Balochistan and died while performing their official duties. The exact number of such widow officials is not more than ten in number.

Official sources told that a high level committee comprising Secretaries Higher Education, Finance, Health, Women Welfare and Regulation departments was set up to look into the matter.

The committee discussed different ways to absorb the said widows in various departments and reached to the conclusion that a policy decision in this regard would damage promotion prospects of the working officials of the concerned departments.

In the last meeting the HED Secretary was directed to gather data from different departments including the Primary and Secondary Health Care department, specialized Health Care, School Education and Higher Education and others if any.

After the exercise, the committee met again. Earlier, under 1974 deputation policy there was a provision that officials from one department could be inducted in the other department on permanent basis. 

“This practice was revised by issuing a new deputation policy by Punjab government in 1998 thus restricting such absorptions,” said a deputy secretary of the S&GAD. He said that the continued practice had affected promotion rights of the officers of the absorbing departments.