MULTAN: Muzaffargarh, which lies between Chenab River and Indus River, is a rural district with a population of 4.3 million. The area lacks many civic facilities after it was devastated by floods in 2010.
In order to uplift the people, the Punjab Youth Workforce Development Project (PYWD), a project of USAID, established a one-window facilitation centre at the Muzaffargarh deputy commissioner’s office where all civic services are being provided under one roof.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed when the centre was inaugurated in May 2019 between PYWD project and the district government for formally handing the facilitation centre over to the latter. The centre is an integration of four government services including issuance of domicile certificates, arms licenses, route permits and copies of records.
All facilities provided by the district government have come under one roof. However, records under the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) have not been integrated into the project. Moreover, there is a delivery counter where locals can collect their required documents at the given timeline.
As a result, the people of Muzaffargarh can benefit from the multifunctional service and obtain their desired documents in an efficient manner and in a comfortable environment.
Prior to the establishment of this facilitation centre, there were several departments which were authorised to provide each of these facilities. However, locals had to follow a laborious process and visit each office multiple times.
PYWD Chief of Party Qaiser Nadeem said that the programme can be replicated in other districts of Punjab to facilitate the people. “The government should work along these lines and work on expanding it to other districts,” he said. If such programmes can be initiated at a macro level using solar panels for example, the cost can be significantly reduced, he said.
Muzaffargarh Deputy Commissioner Ehtisham Anwar maintained that the district government shared this idea with the Punjab chief minister so that, with the minimum finances, such public-private partnership can be expanded to other districts.
“If such a project can be successful in a small, rural district such as Muzaffargarh, then it can also be successful in other districts,” he claimed.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2019.