Pakistan Citizen Portal 'first step on journey to citizen empowerment', says PM Imran

Published December 4, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a ceremony to observe the second of the Pakistan Citizen Portal. — DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a ceremony to observe the second of the Pakistan Citizen Portal. — DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday termed the Pakistan Citizen Portal as the "first step on the journey to people's empowerment".

While addressing a ceremony on the second anniversary of the portal, which was launched in 2018 with the aim to "timely address the problems of the people and get their feedback", the premier said that three million people had used it to register their complaints and each ministry and government department had been given a breakdown of their performance.

The premier said that in the Western countries, citizens were empowered and expected the government to serve them since they pay taxes. In democratic societies, Prime Minister Imran said, those in government had no choice but to listen to the masses because they need votes.

"In Pakistan too, there is some change because of elections. [But] our government [should] listen to the masses and work for them and should not feel that it's doing them a favour, because its the duty to serve the people," he said.

He noted that municipal services were not being provided in the country which reflected that the local government system was not functioning properly.

The premier said that the government was introducing a new local bodies system, adding that a "revolution will come after the local bodies elections". The new local government system will be implemented at a village level, where people will be able to elect their representatives who will directly receive funds every year.

"It would be the best way to solve their municipal and problems [on a] local government level, like pollution, waste management, sewerage etc. Across the world, these issues are resolved by the local government," he told participants of the ceremony.

In major cities like Karachi and Lahore, elections will be held and a city government will be formed that will take care of issues being faced by the residents, including water, sanitation, waste management etc.

Overseas Pakistanis had also used the citizens' portal to lodge complaints, the prime minister shared.

In provincial districts, people face problems due to corrupt assistant commissioners and other officials who exploit residents and ask for bribes, the prime minister observed. He urged people to register complaints pertaining to any such officials on the portal and promised that the government would hold them accountable.

PM Imran also said that the government will continue to expand the service and urged people to use the portal extensively.

"As prime minister, it would easy for me to [find out] which of my ministers, bureaucrats are not performing and which ones are doing well" if people used the citizen portal, he said, adding that it would become easier for the government to decide which officials deserve to be promoted and which ones should be removed from service.

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