Roadmap to prosperity: A step towards greater transparency

PTI has so far promulgated the Right to Information Ordinance and announced an accountability commission.

Hassan Ali August 30, 2013
PTI has so far promulgated the Right to Information Ordinance and announced an accountability commission. PHOTO: INP


Though the first 90 days of the K-P government were marred by increasing lawlessness and consistent pummelling by the opposition, they were not completely devoid of success.

The ruling PTI had campaigned for the general elections with a slogan of ‘change’. The change would come in many forms, but its foremost promise was to end corruption in 90 days. The party’s manifesto also included departmental reform along with institutional and legislative changes.

Making it transparent

The most tangible and visible proof of some success is the Right to Information Ordinance which was promulgated on August 13.

The K-P government also formally announced setting up an accountability commission; people were invited to send in suggestions regarding the committee’s structure till November 15. Not a small step by any means, however, the draft was only published in the English language, making it inaccessible for large swathes of the population.

Health and education

There are other signs of movement. On June 29, under the directives of the provincial chief secretary, working groups were formed for education, health, local government and e-governance.

Both education and health working committees submitted their recommendations to the government in the first week of August.

Just the cost alone makes it improbable many reforms will realistically have to wait for the next budget. As Minister of Education Atif Khan said when discussing the working committee’s recommendations, “...We are committed to do this. If, we are unable to find donors, we will not let financial hurdles end this project. We will not hesitate to launch it by allocating funds for it in the next Annual Development Programme.” However, PTI leaders have persisted in making grand promises; the chief minister has been adamant in saying, “people will see change after 90 days of governance.”

Empowerment at grassroot level

Local governance (LG) is an important issue to the party and the provincial government. The PTI hopes to pass the LG draft with help of its coalition partners. But the draft lacks some earlier promises made in the PTI’s ‘Rural Governance Vision’ – collecting land revenues, agricultural income tax, and registration fees at the council and district levels.

The hope of economic change at village level was also glossed over in the draft. The vision had explicit mentions of village banks and credit facility for farmers.

Dreaming of sports

Unsurprisingly, the PTI chairman has promised sports stadiums for every tehsil on several occasions, but in 90 days all that has been visible is the deplorable state of existing grounds and empty stadiums.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2013.


Ali Shah | 10 years ago | Reply

wow, something remotely positive for PTI on ET

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