Inefficiency main cause of downfall
November 28, 2011
RE Rejecting the privatizations of the public enterprises, the former Punjab Accountant General has suggested the government to restructure PIA, Pakistan Railways and PSM, as there is no use of privatising the precious national assets without corporate governance.
Instead of corruption, he pointed out, the operational inefficiency, over-staffing and mismanagement are major reasons for the gradual decay of the public enterprises.
He said that corruption could be controlled through a transparent mechanism and efficient management. He claimed that presently pension record was completely computerised in AG Office while GP Fund was almost 83 per cent computerised, which would become 100 per cent automated in one year period, eliminating the corruption element from the department.
Ex-Punjab Accountant General Muhammad Jamil Bhatti, who also worked as Director General District Government Audit Punjab and Director General Audit Pakistan Railways, observed that following the concept of corporate governance in its true spirit, the government should hire people of tremendous integrity and credibility from the private sector as MDs, COOs and EDs to run the State Owned Entities efficiently, making them profitable.
Talking to The Nation, he stressed the need for promoting public-private partnership to bring the national assets out of loss. He said that government should give top priority to promoting private sector, which will help creating job opportunities, expanding economy, alleviating poverty and generating more tax revenue.
He stated that the mismanagement and poor governance has made these organizations a pain for economic resources. In other countries, these facilities are either in the private hands or are considered to be profit-making, he added.
He said that we lacked project management, which caused too much delay. Citing the example of the Motorway, he said delay in this mega project due to political interference of the PPP government, the national exchequer had to suffer over Rs19 billion. He informed that the MQMs over 7,000 people were getting salaries from the steel mills without being engaged in any work.
In the same way around 3,000 staff was enjoying the same status in PWD, who only visited the office to draw salary.
He stressed the need for lower staff training at local level, besides sending them abroad for high level guidance, as they deal the public directly. He said that the AG office once used to full of matriculate or simple masters in Punjabi or Urdu, which was nothing to do with their performance at the office.
I initiated to induct the staff, having qualification of accountancy in the AG office, he informed.
Commenting on the recent issue of mega mistakes in inter results, he said the Majid Naeem was an IT related person, but he was assigned the task of policy making, which resulted in a chaos. He said that Mr Naeem was dismissed from the Punjab University due to several inquiries for his wrongdoings. Likewise he was also fired from the Government College University after disciplinary action against him.
Discussing the destruction of the Pakistan Railways, he said that the entity was damaged because of its current culture.
He said the Pakistan Railways used to export its bogies to Bangladesh, Iran, Maldives and African countries but due to non-availability of funds this process was stopped. He added that since Railways received less attention in national plans, therefore, inadequate funding for operation and maintenance of the railway system led to its serious deterioration in services.
He said that despite loosing its attractiveness in relation to road traffic, Pakistan Railways was still playing an important role in the countrys economic development.
While citing statistics, he said that approximately 65 million passengers annually travel through Pakistan Railways while important items like petroleum products, wheat, coal, fertilizers, cement, sugar and thousands of other products are distributed through the institution.
He said that if India can initiate such result-oriented reforms then Pakistan can do the same provided the government shows willingness to implement reforms. The former AGP urged the government to take solid measures to make these public institutions corruption-free through corporate governance as the menace of corruption is pushing this institution towards destruction.
He argued that if Indian Railways could be turned into a profitable institution then why can the same not be done for Pakistan Railways? He said that Indian Railways is the 4th largest railway network after United States, Russia and China. In 2004, renowned Indian politician Lalu Parasad Yadav, took charge as Railways Minister as a challenge.
Railway authorities should build public-private partnership for the improvement of railway infrastructure he said.
He said that Pakistan Railways has the potential to become a profitable organization but lack of interest, lack of planning and mismanagement are coming in the way.
June 20, 2013
LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the PML-N government is...
June 20, 2013
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved Rs 1.12/...