THOUSANDS of citizens visit National Savings centre (NSC) every month to receive their dividends. For many people, these profits are the only source of sustenance. Unfortunately, they abhor the prospect of visiting the centres due to long queues, inadequate seating arrangements, unwarranted delays, and lengthy procedures that consume a major part of their day. In contemporary world, customers are no longer put to the trouble of visiting government offices to collect their dues. Instead, their dues are sent to them.
My recent visit to the NSC at Township, Lahore, was as usual terrible. There were long queues at the centre and the officials were least bothered about listening to the grievances of the public, especially of the senior citizens, let alone attending to them.
The staff closed the doors during the office timings without giving a proper reason. They did not pay heed to my complaints against it and kept doing whatever they were doing. Although the working hours have been extended to 4pm, from the earlier 2.30pm, the branch was closed at the old time. When I resisted, the guard allowed me to enter with visible reluctance.
The centre manager had asked me to open a savings account so that my copies could be correlated. At least six months have passed since this account was opened, but the copies have not been correlated yet.
Many ‘public offices’ which are meant to serve the public happen to be a cause of nuisance to them. For years, citizens have urged the NSC management to upgrade its system and eliminate the need for people to visit the centres. Their monthly dividends should be transferred to their bank accounts every month.
Surely, it requires proper computerisation of records and integrating them with backend software that calculates profit and automatically transfers the amount to every customer’s specified bank account. This seems to be a task that is too tedious for the organisation.
Also, there is a dire need for conducting special training of officials dealing with the general public in order to ensure their good behaviour towards the citizens. The authorities concerned must visit any NSC to see for themselves the inconvenience the public faces every month.
Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2021