IT ministry on road to damage through austerity

STAFF REPORT ISB: The IT Ministry cannot afford to keep IT professionals on its payroll and has taken on schoolteachers and forest officials to manage its affairs. The ministry is also set to scrap over a dozen projects that have been suffering at the hands of inter-departmental neglect.

There is a severe dearth of IT experts at the ministry and most of the staff there are administrative officers. Nearly 100 IT professionals who had been associated with the ministry in the past were let go because the ministry could no longer afford to pay them.

Hidayatullah Bhittani, originally a schoolteacher, is working in the ministry on deputation and currently holds charge as section officer for development. Ghansham Das, originally an officer of the forest department in Sindh, is on deputation to the MoIT and is currently working as assistant chief of development.

In addition, at least 13 projects, which the ministry was supposed to help implement in other departments, are currently suspended and are likely to be scrapped for want of funding, sources said.

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