ISLAMABAD - Promotions of hundreds of senior bureaucrats of different services groups are hanging in the balance due to a delay in convening a meeting of the Central Selection Board.

The Establishment Division, meanwhile, has also requested the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) chairman to spare time for the expected CSB meeting, The Nation has learnt. The FPSC chairman, who is also the CSB chairman, chairs the meeting with the Secretary Establishment Division, chief secretaries of all provinces, inspectors general, representatives of different divisions and parliamentarians.   

Sources told The Nation that the Establishment Division has finalized panels of different services groups of grade-19 and grade-20 officers which will be placed before the CSB meeting. They said the Establishment Division has conveyed to FPSC Chairman Naveed Akram Cheema in this regard but it was still waiting for his response.   

The last CSB meeting was held in December 2016 while even under services rules, the CSB meeting should be held after every six months.  The Establishment Division had planned to convene the meeting in the mid of October but it could not be held. Then it changed the plan and decided to arrange the CSB meeting in the second week of November, but the date of the meeting could not be fixed yet. 

A senior official at the Establishment Division said that several senior bureaucrats of grade-19 and grade-20 were awaiting promotions for the last six months but the board meeting could not be held due to court cases. He said that the CSB meeting was scheduled for October and the Establishment Division had completed all arrangements in this regard and it could be held owing to the no-availability of the FPSC chairman.

A spokesperson for the Establishment Division told The Nation that it has completed all arrangements for the CSB meeting and they were only waiting for the availability of the FPSC chairman.

The Nation attempted to contact FPSC Chairman Cheema on the phone and through text messages to get his version but he did not respond till filing this report.

Earlier, on the instruction of the Supreme Court, a special meeting of the board (CSB 2015) was held in August and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had promoted 54 officers of different service groups to grade-20 and grade-21.

The CSB 2015 had recommended promotions of the officers but the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had referred their cases back to the CSB.

The aggrieved officers had challenged the former prime minister’s decision in the Supreme Court.