Monday June 24, 2024

Citizens Portal a path to public empowerment: PM

By News Desk
December 05, 2020


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday urged more Pakistanis to use his government’s online complaints resolution forum, which he described as a path to empowering citizens and making public sector officials accountable.

He made the remarks while speaking at an occasion marking the two-year anniversary of the Pakistan Citizens Portal. “I want more people to use it (Citizen Portal),” Khan said. “We will strengthen it further for it being the best method to register citizens’ complaints.”

The event was attended by federal ministers, bureaucrats, senior officers and media representatives. He added: “As Prime Minister, it is also easy for me to know which minister or department is working well and which bureaucrat is performing poorly.”

Since its launch on October 28, 2018, the portal boasts three million users, who made 2.7 million complaints, out of which 2.5 million were resolved. Around 125,000 people were registering in a month. Out of three million registered users, 2.8 million were from within the country, 1.7 million expatriates and 11,000 foreigners.

The Prime Minister said the portal would also help the government know issues in administration, as well as good and poorly performing ministries and departments. He said it would also make it easier to enforce the “carrot and stick policy” and decide promotions, incentives and even the removal of bureaucrats from their services because the new civil service rules provided for the termination of corrupt or poorly performing officers.

Appreciating the performance of Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU) In-charge Adil Safi and his team, the Prime Minister said the portal would “change the public mindset in addition to empowering them”.

Khan lamented that since the beginning, the country could not do away with the “elitist mindset inherited from British rulers”.

Exemplifying the highly empowered Western people and service delivery of their governments, the Prime Minister said the State of Medina also gave the very concept of people’s empowerment and public service.

He said contrary to colonial systems or monarchies, democratic systems had given a voice to the masses and made governments answerable. “The Citizen Portal is also a journey towards the very direction of making the people know their rights,” he added.

Commenting on the statistical analysis, the Prime Minister observed that the highest number of complaints was related to municipal issues, which showed that the local government system was not working properly.

However, he said a new local government system would revolutionise the area, making the people directly elect their representatives, who would also control the funds. “This will be the best way to address their municipal issues,” he commented. The metropolitan areas like Lahore and Karachi would have their own governments and revenue generation besides independent systems for municipal services. The Prime Minister also expressed pleasure over overseas Pakistanis also benefitting from the forum, who also faced several issues back at home, in particular, the illegal occupation of their properties by “land mafia”.

He also encouraged people, particularly in Punjab and Sindh, to report the complaints against police officials or assistant commissioners seeking bribes, promising that the government would make them accountable.