Islamabad, June 18, 2013 (PPI-OT): Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning and development chaired a meeting held in the Ministry of P and D regarding introducing and implementing e-government system. High ranking officials of top IT companies including foreign and domestic attended the meeting. The high ranking officials of IT Ministry and NADRA also attended.
Ahsan Iqbal, while chairing the meeting, said that present government was committed to transparency and accountability alongwith efficiency and service delivery and that e-government was one of the strategies of PML-N to achieve these goals. Minister said that they were committed to put Pakistan among top countries regarding e-government.
He said that e-government was a double progressive formula to put the corruption to an end while reducing the cost of service delivery with efficiency and with time saving. In our last government in center we had identified three areas i.e. Police, Judiciary and revenue to start with. Automation of e-office would reduce a cost of Rs. 600 million in terms of stationary and would put a check to red-tapism. Punjab government has started this project with 50 model police stations across the province. This model could be replicated by other departments.
Participants of the meeting pointed out several basic hindrances in the way to achieve high-end e-government level. These hindrances were replication of project by different government bodies, government departments’ endeavour to come up with in-house software development, lack of central data system, lack of data sharing mechanism, lack of standardization of protocols, absence of data sharing protocols, procurement of software without source code, duplicity and the lack of political will at top level to implement e-governance model.
Participants told that their approach should be from front end towards back end and this was the most successful contemporary model in fashion across the world. World is moving from e-based solutions to m-based (mobile) solution. For m-based solutions we have perfect conditions with high level of mobile penetration M-based solutions have already hit Pakistani market by private entrepreneurs. For providing e and m-based solutions public private partnership would be key to success. Government alone cannot provide e-services to 180m people.
Officials of IT Ministry told that there were 27 e-government project currently running in different departments. Chairman NADRA told that they were fully self sufficient in financial terms and were not taking any budgetary grants from the government. He also briefed about the introduction of smart card and briefly told about its features and utility. He told that NADRA had a huge database which could be used by other departments after we reach sharing protocols and standardizations.
Officials from IT Ministry told that they were ahead of India regarding e-governance terms because our e-governance model was based on existing manual system which was friendly to adopt. Participants told that there was need of the hour to identify our pillars of strategy along with policy level definition to stop delicacy by various departments.
Prof Ahsan Iqbal said that computerization mean e-governance. He explained that our strategy should be based on four indicators i.e. better service delivery at user end, more economical, time saving and giving you more choices. He reiterated the need to identify some low hanging fruits which could be completed in a time of 6 months and which were already in pipeline or were failed due to some reason. He also sought the mechanism of partnership to execute the e-governance plan more effectively so that Pakistani’s e-readiness could be ranked among top leading countries of the world.
Minister told the participants that they were planning for national e-governance conference in 2nd week of August in which 300 leading stakeholders will participate. He told that Ministry was working on structure of this conference. He was told that a web-based dash board on the model of UAE was prepared for the Prime Minister which will show all the basic indicators.
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