Corrupt officials to be axed, not transferred: PM

Published December 5, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the ceremony held on completion of two years of Pakistan Citizen Portal at the Prime Minister House on Friday. — PID
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the ceremony held on completion of two years of Pakistan Citizen Portal at the Prime Minister House on Friday. — PID

• Asks people to use Citizen Portal for lodging complaints
• Dissatisfied with performance of local governments
• Says new system being introduced at village level
• Radio school, education portal launched to facilitate students

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the government was introducing a new system of ‘reward and punishment’ under which civil servants would not be transferred but sacked if found involved in corruption and irregularities.

“We will not transfer a corrupt bureaucrat but will sack him,” the prime minister said while addressing a ceremony held on completion of two years of Pakistan Citizen Portal at the Prime Minister House.

The event was attended by federal ministers, bureaucrats, senior officers and media representatives.

The prime minister expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the current local governments and said a system was being introduced at the village level under which funds would be transferred directly to the councils.

“A new local government system is being introduced which will usher in a revolution. It will be implemented at the village level where people will be able to elect their representatives who will directly receive funds every year,” he added.

“It would be the best way to solve municipal problems [at the] local government level, like pollution, waste management and sewerage system. Across the world, these issues are resolved by the local governments,” he told the participants of the ceremony.

In major cities like Karachi and Lahore, elections will be held and a city government will be set up that will solve problems of residents, including water, sanitation and waste management.

Prime Minister Khan lauded Pakistan Citizen Portal for entertaining three million complaints in two years, urging people to use the forum for their empowerment as well as to hold officers accountable.

“I want more people to use it [citizen portal]. We will further strengthen the portal as it is the best method for citizens to register complaints. As a prime minister, it is also easy for me to know which minister or department is working well and which bureaucrat is performing poorly,” he added.

Since its launch on Oct 28, 2018, around three million people registered themselves on the portal and reported 2.7m complaints, out of which 2.5m were resolved.

PM Khan said the portal would also keep the government aware of the performance of ministries and departments. He said it would make it easier to enforce carrot-and-stick policy and take decisions on promotions, incentives and even sacking of the bureaucrat as the new civil service rules provided for terminating services of the corrupt or bad performing officers.

Appreciating the performance of Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in-charge Adil Safi and his team, Mr Khan said the portal would change public mindset as well as their empowerment. He said Madina state gave the very concept of people’s empowerment and public service.

The prime minister said that contrary to the colonial system or monarchy, the democratic system gave a voice to the masses and made governments answerable. The citizen portal is also a journey towards the very direction of making people know their rights, he added.

Commenting on the statistical analysis, the prime minister said the highest number of complaints relating to municipal issues showed that the local government system was not working properly. He, however, said the new system would revolutionise the area, making people directly elect their representatives who would also control the funds. “This will be the best way to address their municipal issues,” he added.

Metropolitan cities like Lahore and Karachi would have their own governments and revenue generation as well as independent systems for municipal services.

The prime minister was pleased at overseas Pakistanis benefiting from the forum, particularly with regard to the illegal occupation of their properties by land mafia.

He encouraged people, particularly in Punjab and Sindh, to report complaints against police officials or assistant commissioners who demanded bribe, assuring them that the government would hold such officers accountable.

Education portal

In a separate meeting, Prime Minister Khan said a radio school and an education portal had been launched to facilitate students through distance learning system.

Trained and qualified teachers would be hired for the portal, called E-Taleem, to make distance learning effective, he said, adding that the government had already promised to introduce ‘Single National Curriculum’ as it would help Pakistanis band together as a nation. “It is a great achievement of ours to introduce a uniform curriculum,” he added.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2020

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