Friday September 29, 2023

Sindh’s interim govt to promote e-governance, says Dagha

By Our Correspondent
September 18, 2023

Sindh’s caretaker government will do its best to implement e-governance in the province to the maximum extent possible by introducing online systems for the submission of taxes and applications for obtaining permissions from different authorities for any job done.

This was stated by a key member of the interim Sindh cabinet, Muhammad Younus Dagha, while talking to The News at his office. Dagha was earlier the caretaker finance, planning & development and revenue minister.

After interim chief minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar’s decision, Dagha was made caretaker revenue, industries and commerce minister last week. Dagha is a retired senior civil servant who earlier served at key positions in both federal and provincial governments.

He said the interim Sindh government has been working on the plan to introduce systems for the online submission of various provincial taxes, revenue and fees collected by the provincial authorities. Similarly, he added, systems for obtaining permission from different provincial authorities for any sort of work would also be made online.

He stressed that e-governance would be implemented to whatever extent possible during the tenure of the caretaker set-up in the province to save residents from the hassle of standing in long queues or visiting government departments and agencies repeatedly for physically submitting taxes or applications.

Replying to a query, Dagha said that a set of austerity measures would be proposed to the interim cabinet to reduce wasteful government expenses so that the incoming elected government can take the reins of the province with its financial affairs in a satisfactory state.

Responding to another question, he said the Sindh government’s grant to the Peoples Bus Service in the urban parts of the province should continue without any curtailment so that the bus fare is not increased despite the phenomenal hike in the prices of petroleum products.

Similarly, he added, other mandatory government grants to the public healthcare institutions in the province should continue in a regulated manner to safeguard public interests.

He suggested that a proper fund be established in the province to pay the massive pension and post-retirement dues of government employees in a timely fashion without the accumulation of arrears.

Dagha said that the pension-related dues of the provincial government had earlier increased to Rs36 billion, with government employees waiting for two years or more to get them after retiring from service. He was of the view that the incoming government after the elections could take any decision to reform the pension system of the state on a long-term basis.