LAHORE: The provincial government is developing a website for the Sasti Roti Scheme to make it more transparent and open to scrutiny by the general public.
The website is scheduled to launch on August 28.
Captain Saif, the Sasti Roti Authority director general, said that the authority will ensure that all data relevant to the Sasti Roti programme is made available on the website. “It will be concise yet comprehensive, with every detail regarding the programme accessible to the visitors,” he said.
He admitted that there were irregularities in the scheme and said that the SRA was committed to eliminate them. “People have alleged that elements associated with the scheme are involved in pilfering of the wheat stocks, the solution is close monitoring and proper inspection and not wrapping it all up.”
A CDGL official told The Express Tribune that the website would contain information on the number of registered tandoors, their location and the amount of wheat flour they use per day. He said that it would have a feedback section where people could lodge their complaints. It will provide the government with an opportunity to gauge public opinion about the scheme.
The website, he said, would provide all details of the participating flour mills.
He said that deliberations were still underway to finalise the necessary arrangements for the development of the website. He added that the data compilation process would start next week.
The official said that the decision to develop a website for the Sasti Roti programme was reached on June 22 during Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s meeting with the public representatives of several districts.
During the meeting, the official said, Shahbaz assured the representatives that the government was committed to removing the flaws in the programme. He had then maintained that the programme had great potential to benefit the poor and would be continued at all costs, the official said.
A CM’s Secretariat official said that the SRA had rejected a proposal to provide more than five flour bags to registered tandoors in a day. He said that five bags were good for making around 1,200 chappaties and the data obtained from katchi abadies and labour colonies had suggested that the tandoors were not selling more than that on a given day.
Out of the 708 flourmills operating in the province, 380 had so far enrolled for the scheme, he said. He added that the government would soon conduct a comprehensive survey to identify the mills involved in malpractice.
About adding more mills, he said that the chief secretary had been assigned the task of spotting well-reputed mills, which could be included in the scheme.
He said that the CDGL had originally established 2,140 tandoors under the scheme but the number had come down to 1,343, after detection of 797 ‘ghost’ outlets.
He said that under the Sasti Roti Tanoor project, the government had set up cheap food outlets in labour colonies and near places most frequented by the poor including public hospitals, bus stands and railway stations.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2010.