The recent reforms in the Excise and Taxation (E&T) department Islamabad are a lesson to be adopted elsewhere in the country to improve governance.
This was said by Dr Tariq Banuri, former executive director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and head of United Nation’s Sustainable Development Division on Saturday.
He was speaking at the seminar held by SDPI on ‘How could good governance be introduced at a micro-level’.
He said it is necessary to analyse the reforms for their usefulness and sustainability by collecting feedback from public through surveys.
“It is also necessary to study the impact of revenue from these reforms and whether they have brought a positive or adverse change in the time for vehicle registration,” he said.
Giving a detailed presentation on the reforms, Dr Ehtesham Anwar, a civil servant of District Management Group and the former head of E&T department, said there are certain prerequisites which need to be followed to improve the governance at micro-level. “These include concrete actions and following them with commitment, openness to suggestions, willingness to admit and correct mistakes and leading by example,” he said.
He added that there are some key components to improve micro-level governance. These include improving the work environment and ensuring strict discipline by discouraging the culture of nepotism. In addition to that, empowering people through information dissemination using all modes of communication, such as websites and telephone helplines are equally important.
Anwar also called for eliminating and restructuring all discretionary powers, to change the way they are used in the existant set up.
He further said that the ultimate aim of any such move should be to relieve the people, for which even a small step, such as introducing one-window facility for senior citizens, special persons and women can be useful. “However, such efforts should be coupled with offering incentives to the staff at the same time,” he added
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2012.
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