It is important to recognize that government jobs are not the only viable career option and that there are many other ways for individuals to contribute to society and achieve personal and professional fulfillment.
Zaheer Udin Babar Junejo
I do remember whenever while conducting dialogue with the community about the importance of education and explaining to the public that education helps you to understand, in return people responded that we educate just to get a job in the government.
There are various reasons that children in Pakistan are encouraged or enforced by parents and society to pursue government jobs, it is important to recognize that this is not the only viable career path and that there are many other ways for individuals to contribute to society and achieve personal and professional fulfillment. While taking a deep breath and sitting calmly a person like me who never runs behind any government job can conclude that Government jobs are seen as prestige in Pakistan and are often seen as providing greater job security, stability, and benefits compared to private sector jobs, the private sector most of the time gets best out of you but pays less, particularly important in a country like ours where unemployment and poverty are significant issues, and many people struggle to make ends meet.
The percentage of employed persons with government jobs in Pakistan is relatively low compared to some other countries. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the percentage of employed persons with government jobs in Pakistan was 9.2% in 2019-2020
In the majority of cases, citizens in Pakistan feel that government jobs are their only viable career option, especially if they come from disadvantaged backgrounds or from areas with a lack of access to education and training in other fields. In such cases, pursuing a government job is seen as a way to secure a stable income and improve their prospects for the future. It is now proved that government jobs are heavily influenced by political patronage and nepotism, there are only a couple of political parties who remain in power, and being on their side ensures job security and returns with financial benefits political parties also secure their political power and influence. Overall, the percentage of employed persons with government jobs in Pakistan is relatively low compared to some other countries, where government employment is a larger portion of the workforce. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the percentage of employed persons with government jobs in Pakistan was 9.2% in 2019-2020. This means that out of the total employed persons in Pakistan, around 9.2% were working in government jobs. It is important to note that this figure includes both federal and provincial government employees, as well as employees of government-owned corporations and autonomous bodies.
Additionally, this percentage may vary by region and sector, as government employment opportunities may be more or less prevalent in different parts of the country and in different industries. Those who join services and other federal as well as provincial departments, promote corruption. In most government departments often these people are involved in the misuse of public funds, which further leads to the misallocation or diversion of resources that are meant to benefit those who earn on their own and the general public. This results in the development of incomplete or substandard infrastructure, lack of basic services, anarchy, inequitable distribution of benefits, and other issues that can contribute to poverty.
Prestige among the employees also varies, some employees in Pakistan often receive additional benefits beyond their salaries, such as free electricity, fuel, and health services. These benefits are provided as part of their employment package and are meant to provide additional incentives and support. However, the cost of these benefits is ultimately borne by taxpayers, including those who are not employed by the government service sector. This is now creating a situation where government employees receive additional benefits that are not available to the general public, which is contributing to a sense of inequality and resentment.
According to a report by the Auditor General of Pakistan, the government’s pension liability increased from PKR 2.79 trillion in 2018-19 to PKR 3.44 trillion in 2019-20
It is important to note, however, that not all government employees in Pakistan receive these benefits, and that there are efforts underway to reform the system and reduce the burden on taxpayers. For example, there have been proposals to increase the efficiency and accountability of the government service sector, reduce corruption, and improve the delivery of public services to all citizens. Ultimately, ensuring that government employees are compensated fairly and that public resources are used efficiently and effectively is critical to promoting economic development and reducing poverty and inequality in Pakistan. The story does not end here, the cost of pensions for retired employees in Pakistan is a significant expenditure for the government, as it is responsible for providing pension benefits to retired government employees. According to a report by the Auditor General of Pakistan, the government’s pension liability increased from PKR 2.79 trillion in 2018-19 to PKR 3.44 trillion in 2019-20.
It is worth mentioning that going through such hard times in our economy when nothing is enough when the majority is paying for few to comfort, our policy corridors should realize that efforts are needed to reform the services system and reduce corruption, and ensure fair compensation and efficient use of public resources is critical for promoting economic development and reducing poverty and inequality in Pakistan. Ultimately, it is important to recognize that government jobs are not the only viable career option and that there are many other ways for individuals to contribute to society and achieve personal and professional fulfillment.
Zaheer Udin Babar Junejo is Community Development Professional based in Hyderabad Sindh