Civil servants promotion rules

ISLAMABAD High Court (IHC) dismissed the petition against the Civil Servants Promotion (BS 18-21) Rules 2019. The new promotion rules were notified by the Establishment Division in official gazette in December with the approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The rationale behind challenging the new promotion rules in court was the empowering the Central Selection Board (CSB) to hold 30 discretionary marks for promoting senior bureaucrats. Till 20111 the Central Selection Board considered a civil servant for promotion to the next scale on the quantification worked out by his combined score of Performance Evaluation Reports (PERs) and professional courses and training. The previous criteria provided an easy and smooth vertical mobility to intelligent and dedicated bureaucrats, as CSB had no discretionary powers to deny promotion to any of such officers.
PTI leadership used to scold the governments of PPP and PML-N for politicizing the bureaucracy and the Prime Minister himself euologised the services of civil servants in the decade of 1960s in his address to the federal bureaucracy. The new promotion rules will cause more damage to the career of senior bureaucrats. The CSB is headed by Chairman Federal Public Service Commission, two parliamentarians, Secretaries Cabinet and Establishment Division, and secretaries of ministries concerned. Will the inclusion of two parliamentarians not politicize its composition?
According to new rules the CSB which had 15 discretionary marks at its disposal after 2012, out of 100, has now got 30 marks on discretion. In addition to 30 marks of CSB, 40 are reserved for PERs and 30 for professional courses. Earlier, the courts have struck down discretionary powers of CSB that were exercised arbitrarily on the pretext of integrity of civil servants, although the reporting officers of PERs had given impressive score to his juniors in the column of integrity and the same had been endorsed by the countersigning officer. Then what was the yardstick with the CSB to doubt the integrity of a civil servant. The new rules also suggest that CSB members would also be free to consider marks on the basis intelligence reports, specifically for promotions to top posts. Prior to the enforcement of Civil Servants Promotion(BS 18-21) Rules 2019, there were 50 marks for PERs, 35 for professional courses and 15 for CSB.