ISLAMABAD, Nov 4: Government’s anti-corruption drive will be given boost through e-governance because it will bring openness and transparency in government affairs.

This was stated by the federal minister for science and technology, Prof Attaur Rahman, while speaking at the opening ceremony of Electronic Government Directorate (IT and Telecom Division) here on Monday.

The minister said that through e-governance, every ministry and division would be mandated to register information about their procurements and other affairs at the government portal. It will contribute to eradicate menace of corruption, he added.

However, he conceded that it would take several years to make the system fully functional.

He said that he would relieve the portfolio of the science and technology minister after the new government comes in.

“The information technology must not be allowed to collapse. We have laid a foundation and others must build a building on it,” he said.

The federal minister recalled that earlier his ministry had given a number of presentation in the cabinet on e-governance and even a special cabinet meeting was organized but the project was not approved then.

The government earlier issued a gazette notification for the establishment of Electronic Government Directorate (EGD) under the administrative and financial control of IT and Telecom Division.

The EGD has been established by conversion of IT commission, which was established in 1997. The EGD is headed by a programme coordinator and supported by the director general (projects) and a small group of IT professionals.

The directorate has been entrusted with implementation of different projects under e-governance programme. Projects will be outsourced to private sector firms, while the EGD will monitor the work of the firms.

The directorate will also prepare plans for other e- governance projects and provide technical support to all federal, provincial and local governments on matters pertaining to advancement of e-governance in the country.

At present the main assignment of the EGD is to maintain the first ever web-portal of Pakistani government (www.pakistan.gov.pk).

Explaining the benefits of e-governance, the minister said that matters pertaining to taxation, utility bills and rules and regulations of different government departments would be available at the portal, which would help the public at large.

Links are being developed between the State Bank of Pakistan and other commercial banks after which the performance of the banks will improve manifold, he added.

These portals will be updated every week in which both provincial and district governments will also be linked. Even the land records of the provincial governments, information about different educational institutions and general information about Pakistan will be made available on the portals.

The ceremony was also attended by the programme coordinator, Alvi Abdul Rahim, and executives of the directorate, Ashfaq Mahmood, secretary IT and telecom division, Shehzad Hassan Pervaiz, secretary scientific and technological research division, Salman Ansari, advisor to science and technology minister, Akhtar Ahmad Bajwa, PTCL chairman and the NTC chairman, Air Vice Marshal Azhar Maud.