PM launches Citizens’ Portal to spruce up governance
ISLAMABAD – Launching Pakistan Citizens’ Portal on Sunday Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the programme would be a leap forward as people from all over the country and overseas Pakistanis could help spruce up the governance through registration of their complaints and suggestions on working of Ministries and government departments.
Addressing the launching ceremony and later responding to media persons questions, the Prime Minister said that this innovative programme would bring a ‘quantum change’ in the overall governance as people would have voice in the governmental affairs as they could point out weaknesses in the functioning of Ministries and departments in the light of their experiences.
It would be one of the manifestations of ‘Naya Pakistan’ where people would have a sense of ownership of the government and for the first time they would be having the feeling that government was there to help solve their problems, Imran said, adding that it would change the colonial mindset which unfortunately his predecessors had failed to do.
The portal will be available to citizens in the form of a cell phone application but the people could also approach the portal with their complaints and suggestions through telephone, email and other sources of communication.
Imran said that this system was even not available to some European countries and through this system he would be having eye on the working of the Ministries and departments and hiccups in governance could be removed at fast track.
He further said that he would be receiving detailed weekly report from the portal and would have clear picture of the functioning of the government.
Imran said that under the system the complaints of the citizens would have to be replied in a specific timeline and each and every complainant would be duly replied.
He said that the idea to launch such a web portal was first of its kind in the country’s history, interconnecting about 4,000 government offices. He expressed the confidence that the programme would also help the government to make policies based upon public feedback and suggestions, and their opinion would serve as springboard and thrust for such policies. The Prime Minister regretted that unfortunately the wealthy and influential people got their issues resolved but the ordinary man on the street had to suffer. Changing the mindset of government functionaries was vital to improve the governance system in the country, he said, adding, through easy access to the web portal by all and sundry, the politicians, Ministers and government functionaries had been made accountable.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fahmida Mirza, Principal Secretary to PM Azam Khan, Special Assistant to PM on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq, Special Assistant to PM on Media Iftikhar Durrani, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Hussain Bukhari and others, besides a number of media persons attended the event.
The PM Office will supervise redressing of public grievances by the departments concerned and consider the feasibility of public proposals sent to it by the citizens.
The integrated system, an initiative of the Prime Minister Performance Delivery Unit (PMDU), has the latest information technological tools for its functioning.
The portal contains 20 different inbuilt categories (3,796 offices) for facilitation and the citizens, Parliamentarians, overseas Pakistanis and foreigners will have to complete the registration process before accessing its various tools and pages.
The Prime Minister, in his speech, further said that the erstwhile neglected and deprived classes of the society, including females belonging to remote areas, would be able to approach the departments concerned.
The overseas Pakistanis, especially the labour class, would also benefit from the web portal as they could register their issues and the Embassies concerned abroad had to respond, he stated.
Similarly, the Parliamentarians would also be able to register their concerns, he added.
He said that the programme would help the government to devise a merit-based policy in the promotion and demotion of government functionaries on the basis of their performance.
He noted that corruption was the main reason for eroding the efficacy and functioning of the government departments.
Citing Singapore and Turkey, he said that those countries rose on the economic horizons, which had tackled the menace.
The Prime Minister observed that the country had been facing an enormous burden of foreign debts and bringing the foreign investment to the country was needed by introducing a culture of ‘ease of doing business ’. The foreign and local investors would get facilitation through the PCP, he said.
He referred that such facility had been introduced by the Turkish government to attract foreign investment.
He said that it would be leapfrog as the country had immense potential with about 100 million talented youth under the age of 35 years.
The world was anxious to explore the investment opportunities offered by the country, he added.
He said that the web portal would also make the people at the helms of affairs to realise that they were the public servants and paid from the public tax money, so they have to serve the masses.
The Prime Minister said that during the 1960s, the country had the best performing bureaucracy and the foreigners from the Middle East and Gulf arrived in Pakistan on sojourns, but now the tide had changed.
On the occasion, he also introduced a team of young people from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which had achieved such marvel during the previous tenure of PTI provincial government by launching a similar web portal system there.
The Prime Minister said that such were the initiatives taken by PTI government in KP that the people had re-elected his party with two-third majority in the general election.
Imran made it clear that there were no conditions attached to the recently announced Saudi Arabian economic package and hinted at more good news in this connection from friendly States in coming days.
Responding to media persons questions, Imran dispelled the concerns shown by Opposition parties demanding details of the Saudi Arabian economic package which included provision of oil on deferred payment and $3 billion for foreign exchange reserves stability.
He said that Saudi Arabia had attached no conditions with the package and hinted at more good news from some friendly countries in coming days.
Imran would be leaving for Malaysia in a day or so and would be visiting China on Nov 3.
Chinese government had already announced a grant of $2.7 billion for Pakistan.
To a question about the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal, Imran said that about 60 per cent work on interconnecting the government offices had been achieved linking the Federal government, and KP and Punjab provinces.
He said they would forward and highlight to the other two provincial governments about the public issues/complaints received through the portal.
Imran also maintained that he was the elected Prime Minister and chief executive of the country and was responsible for the affairs of the whole country while resolving the issues facing the public was his responsibility.
Responding to another question regarding complaints about the judicial system, he said that the PTI government was also working to reform CrPC under its 100 days agenda and would forward public complaints to the judiciary.
The Prime Minister said that certain elements raising hue and cry had been facing old NAB cases and his government had not yet initiated anything against them.
Democracy could be in danger if such occasion arose in future, he said in a lighter vein.
He said that those people, who did not possess smartphones, would have the option to access through toll free no. 0800, email or writing letters or applications.
382,000 complaints can be registered at same time: Fawad
APP adds: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Sunday said at least 382,000 complaints relating to government departments could be registered at same time through the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal (PCP).
The portal was a step towards improving governance, which was of the first kind in the country’s history giving an easy access to the people to lodge their complaints against government officials and departments, he said while talking to PTV.
The minister said there was a timeline to address the complaints lodged through the PCP. The people across the country would be able to register their complaints against any department through the portal, he added.
Complaints, he said, would be automatically directed towards the heads of relevant departments who would then take appropriate step to address the matter. The report regarding complaints against institutions and their redressal would be published on monthly basis, he added.
Complaints could also be registered through other ways if Internet facility was not available in any area, he added.