The Services and General Administration Department Punjab has issued a letter to government officers restricting them from expressing their personal opinions on social media and commenting on conventional as well as social media.

In view of the increasing trend of using social media among newly recruited government officers, the Punjab government has imposed a ban on Grade 17 officers, including assistant commissioners, on expressing their opinions on social media and media.
The letter says that according to the civil services rules, giving statements in the media and social media based on one’s personal opinion is a violation of the rules.

The letter says, “The young officers of PAS/PMS in BS-17, posted against various slots in the field as well as in the Secretariat, are considered as the face of the Provincial Government. However, it has been observed with grave-concern that these officers often engage themselves with social media i.e. Websites, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microblogging, TikTok, YouTube etc, without taking into consideration of its fall out amongst public at large, especially using the social media in official capacity.”

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It further states, “Often, the views/ comments/ conduct/ personal opinion of the officers, may either harm the national security; or offend public order, decency or morality; or amount to contempt of court or defamation or incitement to an offence; or propagate sectarian creeds and capable of embarrassing the government, which is tantamount to misconduct and inefficiency under the rules.”

It also warned that strict action will be taken against those violating the instructions.