Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday, while stressing implementation of e-governance in all federal ministries and divisions including the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) within the next six months, said digitization was key to check corruption and ensure transparency in the system.
He was speaking here at the inauguration ceremony E-Bidding, E-Billing and GIS Mapping System under the National Highway Authority (NHA).
The prime minister described the introduction of such a modern and digitized system in NHA as a big step towards breaking the status quo, which was a major hurdle in bringing about a real change in the country.
He said unfortunately the corrupt elements and mafia being beneficiaries of the status quo and having vested interests, did not want change, and digitization which would eliminate the room for corruption.
The prime minister said as bribery had roots and acceptability in the system, e-governance and digitization was vital for defeating it.
He mentioned that when he established Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital 20 years back he introduced paperless working with online data maintenance to check corruption and ensure transparency.
The prime minister said it was unfortunate that the country even in 2021 did not have e-governance and digitized system in the public sector.
He said no country could achieve development and progress without checking corruption and ensuring transparency.
Imran Khan said he could not bring change by pressing a switch, but it was the nation which had to work for change and regain the respect for green passport in the world.
He said the people in various parts of the world, including Malaysia and Indonesia, did not embrace Islam because of any pressure but only due to the character, truthfulness and fairness of the Muslim traders.
The prime minister said in the past Pakistan and its people enjoyed a lot of respect in the world. “There was a time when our president during his official visits was received by the US president and the British queen at the airports,” he remarked.
He referred to the recent revelations by Broadsheet about the corruption and money laundering of the Sharif family and said when leaders indulged in corruption it made the whole system corrupt.
He said according to the Broadsheet revelations, a Pakistani political figure had transferred US $ 1 billion from Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom.
“On one hand, our country is facing the burden of huge debt, while on the other political leaders own billions of dollars properties and assets abroad,” he remarked.
Imran Khan also mentioned the huge expenses made through the public kitty by previous rulers during their visits abroad, and their aristocratic boarding and lodging at luxury hotels in contrast to the simplicity adopted by the Western leaders.
It was unfortunate that despite being the followers of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), who established the world’s first welfare state in Madina, they could not pursue that path and system, he added.
The prime minister said the present government was pursuing the path of making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state as per the vision of founding fathers.
He said the digitization of country’s institutions, including NHA, FBR and others, besides ensuring transparency, would also help generate more revenues which would be spent on human development, education, health and socio-economic uplift of the masses, especially the poor.
Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said the inauguration was the reflection of NHA’s steps towards e-governance and highlighted special initiatives of the present government to transform the economy and work practices on modern lines under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan for improved service delivery.
He said the National Highway Authority (NHA) had digitized the existing manual based systems while introducing smart technologies at par with international standards aimed at good governance, maintaining transparency and ensuring accountability.
The minister said due to the measures taken by present government, the NHA had realized Rs 50 billion per year revenue and was targeting to take it to Rs 100 billion per annum during the nest two and a half years.
Secretary Communication Zafar Hassan, in his welcome remarks, highlighted various initiatives of e-governance in the NHA, which would ensure transparency and eliminate the existing manual system.