ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that any bureaucrat who was caught involved in corruption will be suspended from service rather than being transferred to another post.

The premier said the Pakistan Citizen Portal was a major step on the journey to people’s empowerment, as the state and the government were duty bound to look after weaker segments of society, including the poor, elderly people, orphans and special persons.

The prime minister was addressing a ceremony here in connection with the completion of two years of the Pakistan Citizen Portal, which works under the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. He noted that so far three million people have used the PCP for redressal of their complaints and their satisfaction level is very high regarding getting relief.

According to local tv channel, the prime minister said that the Citizen Portal was helpful in providing the government with input on who was performing better in their district and who wasn’t. He said that any bureaucrat who was caught involved in corruption will be suspended from service rather than transferred to another post.

The PCP was launched in 2018 with the aim to timely address the problems of the people and get their feedback. The prime minister emphasised that people should exploit this option as they would have the power to get their problems resolved and would not be helpless.

The prime minister emphasised that the PCP also provided a complete picture about response and performance of ministries and departments. He said municipal services have appeared as the least responsive section in addressing people’s grievances. He noted that this happens as our local government system has failed to deliver to people’s needs.

The premier pointed out that a change happened in Pakistan due to the elections but the government would have to deliver and it was not any favour, but its responsibility and duty. “PCP is a journey of people’s empowerment,” he said.

The prime minister said that when freedom was won and those who got the government, could not change their mindset and that they had come after the British rulers, who had come from another country for the rule on slaves, who neither had rights nor freedom. He recalled that when he first visited England, he witnessed a massive difference in provision of services to people there, as compared to Pakistan. He noted that the PCP was a very big step towards the welfare state established in Madina, being the first welfare state to take care of the weaker segments of the society.

The prime minister noted that in the Western countries, citizens were empowered and expected the government to serve them since they pay taxes. In democratic societies, Imran Khan said, those in government had no choice but to listen to the masses because they needed their votes.

In major cities like Karachi and Lahore, he continued, elections would be held and a city government would be formed that would take care of issues being faced by the residents, including water, sanitation, waste management etc.

The prime minister said that overseas Pakistanis had also used the citizens’ portal to lodge complaints and got addressed their issues while sitting abroad. In provincial districts, he noted, people face problems due to corrupt assistant commissioners, police officers and other officials, who exploit residents and ask for bribes. He urged people to register complaints pertaining to any such officials on the portal and promised that the government would hold them accountable. He said that the government would continue to expand the service and urged people to use the portal extensively. As prime minister, he explained, it would be easy for him to find out which of his ministers, bureaucrats were not performing and which ones are doing well and be rewarded.

The prime minister emphasised that bribe was a big issue in Punjab and Sindh, where people were found complaining about this menace. He asked the people to register their complaints at the portal if a deputy commissioner, assistant commissioner or police officer demands bribe from them. He assured that the government will take action against such corrupt officials. He said the system of check and balance was must to ensure good governance.