Tussle between Punjab BoR head, chief secretary apparently resolved

Iqtidar Gilani Our Correspondent

22nd Oct, 2021. 10:28 pm
Punjab government creates online portal 'Aap Ki Rai'

LAHORE: Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal appears to have come out victorious as Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Babar Hayat Tarar has withdrawn office order regarding the establishment of a parallel secretariat.

Mr Tarar had recently issued an office order declaring Board of Revenue a fully-fledged secretariat. The unprecedented move sent ripples among bureaucrats who believe this was an open challenge to the authority of the top boss sitting at the Civil Secretariat.

Apparently, Mr Tarar, a BPS-22 officer, desired to give the impression of not wanting to work under his junior officer Dr Kamran Ali Afzal.

“Competent Authority has been pleased to desire that in future all the official correspondence shall be issued under the letter head Secretariat Board of Revenue, Punjab instead of Board of Revenue, Punjab”, reads the office order issued on the direction of SMBR.

However, mounting pressure caused the senior-most bureaucrat in the province to surrender and accept the authority of the CS by withdrawing the earlier issued office order.

“In modification of this office order number even dated 13.10.2021, the existing practice for official correspondence shall continue”, reads a fresh office order that nullified the one issued about one week back.

“It is a step in the right direction. The CS is the boss of SMBR and revenue officers working at divisional, district and tehsil levels. Defiance of the SMBR and the resultant uncertainty among bureaucrats was adversely affecting the governance. Now the uncertainty will end and the CS would be able to impose his authority”, said a senior officer who wished not to be quoted.

Dr Kamran Afzal — an Aitchisonian and a Harvard graduate — has been chosen by Prime Minister Imran Khan for improving governance and financial management and controlling inflation in Punjab.

As per a senior officer, the recent development has raised hopes of returning of normal routine and provision of conducive atmosphere to the CS to properly work on the given assignment.