Where is Transparency?

In our crimes, dominant society Transparency is not found in any government business. Recently our government has received billions of rupees in relief goods and dollars so much has been collected by civil society and CBOs which has been distributed among the flood affectees. Millions of flood-stricken people are still waiting for some shelter and are looking at the hands of the government

For Pakistani people, it has almost become necessary for getting minor to important formalities done to go through the stream of corruption in all government and semi-government offices. Different streams are flowing with the blood of people sucked out of people’s bodies in the shape of bribes, quick backs, and corruption. All of these streams are merged in the oceans of the big fraudulent present in society with the names of the mafia, politicians, bureaucracy, frontmen, and big contractors. There are some hundred families of plunderers who also contribute “sincerely” to the oceans of a few who are lucky enough to get a term of the apex posts. Minimum laws and regulatory complexities and smooth procedures of internal and foreign investments must be taken as the foundation of set objectives of economic development. When rulers will consider themselves the owner of the national wealth and whole business opportunities when transparency will vanish from the horizons of power when everyone will consider bribes, quick backs, and commissions as the only rule of the time. In such circumstances nation will never move ahead. Every common person knows about this worst position but it is beyond their power to correct the wrongs. They can create hue and cry and take their complaints to the highest levels but when the uppermost rulers are drowned in the darkest corruption and have become themselves smelly dirty pounds of corruption they can never accommodate the complaints against their agents either working at the lowest or the upper stages.

Most of the time business people and other commoners know all the rules but businessmen find it easy to give bribes and keep the wheel running. Going in complaints and launching a “Jihad” against corrupt officials is often risky, time-consuming, and expensive. The government has passed “The Right of Access to Information Act”. Its purpose is to ensure that everyone shall have the fundamental right of Access to information and promote the purpose of making the Government more accountable to its people, and of improving participation by the people in public affairs, and promoting good governance. This Act itself and the procedure of acquiring information from the government and semi-government organizations is not made common for serving the purpose better.

In our crimes, dominant society Transparency is not found in any government business. Recently our government has received billions of rupees in relief goods and dollars so much has been collected by civil society and CBOs which has been distributed among the flood affectees. Millions of flood-stricken people are still waiting for some shelter and are looking at the hands of the government. They have learned so much about the transport planes loaded with the necessary things for the affectees. People expect more than limited resources can help them.  The allocations of billions of rupees have been announced for their help by provincial and federal governments. It has given them hope, but they know that in past so many such hopes of the commoners were frustrated even after the charming promises of the rulers.

What is needed in the present scenario is centrally pooling the resources for supporting the flood-stricken people. Pooling means pooling the data of funds and goods available with the governments and CBOs and the help provided to the families. An intensive survey of the immediate and long-term needs of needy people must be made. NADRA needs to provide the ID numbers or duplicates of all these families. Before issuing any commodity or financial help to any of these families its record should go into the central pool so that justice should be done in providing equal and genuine help. If it is not done so, then no one will ever know what came from where and what goes to whom.

Computers and websites of different organizations are the best available source for keeping transparent all funds and their use, and all rules and regulations of the procedure of the business. One thing which facilitates the corruption in this do-gooders business is undocumented funds. It must be made illegal to receive donations in cash. All funds should go to the bank accounts of the CBOs and expenditures approval must be made with the approval of the executive bodies, and annual audits by the registered CA firm should be made regularly.

All government and semi-government organizations must update their websites regularly. There must be an audit of these websites along with the audit of the accounts.  In place of visits and inspections of the sub-offices by higher-ups, the inspection of such websites and their role in making the functions transparent and effective be judged, and in the annual confidential reports websites efficiency of the workers must be kept in the first place.  Online Websites of organizations can become the herald and harbinger of success and best service. In this era of fast-developing public consciousness, high-ups cannot avoid their responsibilities only by saying that the lower staff is not cooperative. All good officers like to display all necessary information about office procedures on boards at a distinguished place outside of the office.  If a person sitting at the top of the organization cannot think about the transparency of his organization it will mean that he is not ready to make himself responsible for anything regarding his duties.

Author

  • Dr. Shafiq Jullandhry

    With 50 years of teaching experience, Professor Dr. Shafiq Jullandhry, a noted writer and author of award-winning books, is former chairman of Punjab University's Mass Communication Department (now School of Communication Studies); also heads Elaaf Club and Pakistan Media Guild as president. He can be reached at drjullandhry@yahoo.com.

With 50 years of teaching experience, Professor Dr. Shafiq Jullandhry, a noted writer and author of award-winning books, is former chairman of Punjab University's Mass Communication Department (now School of Communication Studies); also heads Elaaf Club and Pakistan Media Guild as president. He can be reached at drjullandhry@yahoo.com.

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