- Merger of departments mentioned in phases one and two would be carried out simultaneously
ISLAMABAD: In order to materialise the merger of FATA with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) under the 25th Constitutional Amendment, 2018, the plan to integrate FATA Secretariat with KP Civil Secretariat has been revised as the plan would now be executed in two phases instead of three.
Earlier, it was agreed upon to integrate FATA Secretariat with KP Civil Secretariat in three phases in a year’s time. However, the plan has now been revised and the merger of departments mentioned in phase one and two of the plan would be carried out simultaneously.
According to the documents, there is an immediate need to devise initial plans to set the right direction for the implementation of the merger.
The FATA Secretariat was established in 2006 and has several departments which have multiple directorates such as administration, planning and development, finance and others. In order to avoid any administrative vacuum and friction, a meticulously structured approach for the required administrative integration is recommended, which is proposed to be actualised in a year’s time.
In the first phase, several departments would be shifted to like departments of the KP government.
FATA health and education departments would be transferred to KP’s health and education departments while agriculture research will be shifted to the agriculture department of the provincial government.
Similarly, agriculture extension and fisheries will be shifted to the agriculture department in six months, among other departments.
In the second phase, the works and services department of erstwhile FATA would be merged with KP works and services department.
The documents stated that owing to administrative compulsions relating to planning, finance and maintenance of order, it is recommended that in the inception stage of one year, the planning, finance, law and order departments along with FATA Development Authority and administration wing/unit should remain under the administrative control of FATA additional chief secretary (ACS).
The planning department along with FATA Development Authority will provide the necessary capacity to FATA ACS to plan for the utilisation of the significant amount of funds expected to be provided for the implementation of the 10-year socio-economic plan in line with the recommendations of the committee on FATA reforms approved by the prime minister.
However, the forum for approval of development schemes under the annual development plan at the level of FATA Secretariat, i.e. FATA development working party, will be abolished and all its functions will be shifted to the provincial development working party of the KP province. Similarly, the finance department will enable FATA Secretariat to maintain the much-needed linkage and liaison with finance division and the office of accountant general Pakistan revenue.
Likewise, the services of law and order department are required to ensure a smooth transition from the previous law enforcement regime in FATA to the one in KP. A small administration wing or unit headed by a deputy secretary will also be needed to look after the official assets and coordinate with KP secretariat for shifting of the directorate, which can be placed in any of the four remaining departments in FATA Secretariat or can report directly to the ACS.