PR No. 269 Islamabad: December 31, 2015

Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal today announced that the first generation reforms package has been finalized and would be presented to Prime Minister in January, 2016 for his approval. Implementation of reforms would start soon after approval of the prime minister. He maintained, “Reforms is ongoing process and would continue. These reforms are being done in consultation with the all stakeholders for creating ownership. Status quo is the most daunting task. But present government is fully committed to carry out its agenda of reforms to ensure modernization of public sector and to improve the public delivery system. Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views at the inaugural session of 2nd Pakistan Governance Forum. The forum was largely attended by the civil servants, private sector, academia, civil society and media to deliberate upon the reforms being taken in various areas of governance. Ashan Iqbal extensively spoke on the reform agenda of the government and achievements and future course of action to bring a radical change in the public sector performance, which has become obsolete to cope with the challenges set by the modern governance model.

Ahsan Iqbal informed the participants about various initiatives taken by the current government in lieu of the reform agenda and pointed out that first time performance contract of ministries have been devised by virtue of which the selected 11 ministries and divisions would sign with Prime Minister about their deliverables in one year. These would be translated into their KPIs. Minister announced one billion rupees Performance Management fund to award and incentivise those ministries who would perform better in their delivery and achieving the desired results. The Minister also announced that government is starting a Citizen Satisfaction Survey to compile Citizen Satisfaction Index about the public sector institutions’ performance through their inputs. Government is also setting up an Excellence & Innovation Fund to encourage innovative ideas in governance. Similarly, ten million rupees grants would be extended to those ministries and departments who bring forth innovative ideas to improve governance and public delivery system.

Ahsan Iqbal said that for performance evaluation of civil servants, the present ACR system has become obsolete and a new ACR system is being introduced by evaluating them on the basis of attributes of leadership and soft skills. For this purpose, new Performa is being designed that aims to evaluate performance using scientific techniques. The minister said that e-governance is being recognised as an effective mean to modernise the public sector and improve governance. In the first phase, Establishment Division and FPSC have been directed to switch their day to day operations from manual to the automated one and provide integrated environment. Establishment Division is being renamed as Human Resource and Organizational Development Division. Islamabad Model city initiative is being materialised and would be launched soon. Citizen-Client Charters of all ministries would be formulated to redress the public complaints promptly.

Ahsan Iqbal noted that tax reforms are very critical for our future. Our ambitions for development are huge, which can be financed through mobilization of resources. For this, government is also focusing to expand tax-to-GDP ratio. He said corruption is an evil and government is committed to root it out by bringing transparency, accountability and better governance in every sphere. Clean track record of the current government is evident from Transparency International’s reports which upgraded Pakistan in last two years by decreasing country’s corruption perception.

Ahsan Iqbal said that government is investing heavily in education and health sectors and introducing reforms in these areas. For conducive investment climate, reforms for ‘ease of doing business’ by removing the red-tapism are also underway.

Minister Planning & Development said that reforms agenda aims at introducing participatory and collaborative governance in the country to bring political and economic stability. Having introduced the prudent and vibrant policies, Pakistan is now a changed country, being a safe heaven for billion dollars investment. Things are now within our grasp to seize the opportunity in the form of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by promoting the optimism and positive thinking in the country.

Minister hoped that second Governance Forum would help the government to chalk out future course of action on the reform agenda. He said that during this year Governance Forum, Governance Expo has also been started that aims to bring opportunity for the ministries and government functionaries to present their achievements directly to the stakeholders and especially to become accountable in front of the public who are the actual custodians of this system. Moreover, the ministries and departments would display their innovations and improvement they made since the start of reforms.