Federal Ombudsman decides online system to address complaints of expatriates

Islamabad - The Federal Ombudsman has decided to put in place an online complaint registration system and open one window operation at major airports to address grievances of over 7 million overseas Pakistanis as a small gesture of acknowledgement to their vital contribution in economy of the country. Overseas Pakistanis have contributed almost $16 Billion in fiscal year 2013-14 as remittances and according to the latest data their remittances have shown 17.9 percent growth hence the Federal Ombudsman Salman Farooqi has taken the initiative of appointing a Grievance Commissioner to ensure timely removal of their complaints, said the Ombudsman secretariat sources here Sunday.
Overseas Pakistanis complaints range from illegal occupation of their lands, homes, delay in addressing their complaints by immigration, passport offices, PIA, FIA, National Database and Registration Authority, Overseas Pakistanis Foundation or other federal agencies.
The newly appointed Grievance Commissioner for overseas Pakistanis Hafiz
Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar senior adviser Law has already held many meetings with concerned federal agencies to implement the decision and to identify complaints of expatriates.  He has taken various steps for timely removal of their complaints. The focal persons have been appointed in different federal agencies and foreign missions and their emails have been given where expatriates can send their complaints through email.
The complaint custodian would be appointed to forward all their complaints to the relevant federal departments like ministry of foreign affairs, NADRA, PIA, Civil Aviation Authority, passport and immigration, ministry of overseas, Federal Board of Revenue and foreign missions.
The federal agencies have been also instructed to create their websites providing their links to Federal Ombudsman’s website www.ombudsman.gov.pk.
The grievance commissioner has proposed that a dedicated website need to be created where the overseas Pakistanis can register and launch their complaints online against federal government departments and will be able to track these. Such a system would be first of its kind anywhere in the world, said grievance commissioner while explaining the online mechanism for expatriates. He said all the concerned government departments would be ‘main part of this system and perform online action on complaints assigned or transferred’ by the Complaints Custodian within the stipulated timeframe of seven days.         
The Grievance Commissioner Cell can take further action under the law.
He said 80 percent of the complaints received during last three months had been addressed by his Cell.
One window operation at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports would soon be set up to help the overseas Pakistanis.

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