FAISALABAD: Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2013 (RTI) is a positive step towards a transparent, efficient and publicly acceptable governance system in Punjab, said Engr. Suhail Bin Rashid, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI).
He was chairing the first ‘RTI Baithak’ organized by Beacon house University on ‘Role of Civil Society in making Government system transparent’. He said that it is a general practice that budgets are formulated without consultation with the stakeholders and when budget is announced, people start hue and cry and then issues are re-examined and discussed. However, for the first time the Government has been consulting all stakeholders in budget formulation. He hoped that this time budget will be comparatively better and reflective of the aspirations of the people as well as the business community.
He said that today’s ‘RTI Baithak’ is also a positive step in bringing transparency in Government Departments as tax payers have the right to know where their money is being spent. He demanded that entire Government system should be computerized and replaced with e-governance system as it was impossible for any Government to have direct access to the each and every person. He said that Punjab Board of Information Technology is already working on this pattern and record of some of the Government Departments has also been computerized that is available on their website.
Zafar Dogar a senior journalist expressed its apprehension about the exemptions provided in the Act and said that in general practice these exemptions are being allowed to nullify the benefits of such important law.
Zaeem Yaqoob Khan , Director, Beacon house National University said that Beacon house University has already conduced three Baithak in Lahore for the sensitization of civil society in addition to bringing positive improvement in this Act Now three sittings are being held in Faisalabad followed by two in Multan and another three to be conducted in Lahore. We are preparing Logo and Video documentaries on the benefits of this Act and all these will be provided to the Information Commission to facilitate to start working in effective and efficient manner.