–PM’s Office flooded with performance reports after premier directs cabinet to elaborate progress thus far
ISLAMABAD: With the first 100-day deadline of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government nearing completion, the Prime Minister’s Office is flooded with reports pouring in from various ministries and the evaluation of Imran Khan’s cabinet has begun.
Background interviews and interactions with the federal government officials have led Pakistan Today to believe that some cabinet members did not leave for their hometowns over the weekend. Rather, they oversaw the finalisation of the performance reports of their ministries in a bid to impress PM Imran Khan with their achievements so far.
Inside sources said that among those in PM Khan’s good books are Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Minister for Law Dr Farogh Nasim, Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema and others.
In particular, Umar and Afridi impressed the premier with their commitment, sources said, adding that they were praised during two consecutive cabinet meetings.
While the finance minister was praised for his efforts during talks with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China and for battling the economic instability as well as balance of payment crisis, the minister of state for interior was encouraged to carry on his dedication in executing the plans despite PM Khan’s reluctant in giving away the portfolio of minister for interior.
Afridi has additionally been tasked to propose the feasibility proposal of a new law enforcement organisation, namely the National Security Organisation (NSO), which he did after consultation with all state institutions. “A team from the Prime Minister’s Office remained involved with the process and a presentation would soon be made to the prime minister who would take a final decision over the matter,” a senior official at the Ministry of Interior told this scribe.
The official added that revision of the National Action Plan (NAP), provision of clean drinking water in Islamabad, ‘successful’ negotiations with the TLP protesters and recovery of 80,000-Kanal land in the anti-encroachment drive are some of the achievements included by the minister in his 100-day report card.
As far as the info minister’s performance is concerned, officials told this scribe that Fawad is set to take credit for compiling the proposal of Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA) to regulate all media platforms, however, it is yet to be approved.
They added that the info ministry is set to restructure cyber wing for digital media, and revamp the PTV along with its merger with Radio Pakistan.
An official said that the ministry had also executed a plan to modernise all state-owned media institutions and giving editorial freedom to them, adding that media workers will be awarded health cards with an expense up to Rs five lac. The official said that the process to make government advertisements transparent has also been launched.
PROGRESS THUS FAR:
In the 100-day reports, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi focuses on reviving Pakistan’s relations with United States (US), China and Saudi Arabia whereas Minister for Communications Murad Saeed claims to benefit the government by saving Rs 3.5 billion in expenditure besides commencing several new projects in across country, according to the sources.
Minister for Water Faisal Vawda takes pride in convincing all provinces to install telemeters to plug water theft in a first while the cabinet member is also pushing for a comprehensive national water policy.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari, in his 100-day report, emphasises on identifying thousands of ghost employees and irregularities in his ministry. The premier’s special assistant aims to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis further.
While Minister for Housing & Works Tariq Bashir Cheema will focus on executing the five million houses project with the announcement of the programme, Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem aims to introduce legal reforms after the initial 100-day exposure. According to the ministry officials, the minister had prepared a legal package besides drafting the whistleblower bill and plan for women rights. The law minister worked on inheritance-related issues and the pending legal assistance bill.
It is pertinent to mention here that PM Imran Khan decided to release a report over the performance of the cabinet ministers and the ministries were directed to submit their performance reports of 100 days with the PM Office. The ministers would be evaluated on the basis of their performance and non-performing ministers would be sent packing and new faces would be inducted in their place.
The ministers are directed to detail how much funds their respective ministries saved under the austerity campaign, steps taken to provide relief to the masses, and programmes launched to implement the party manifesto.
Moreover, the ministers are also directed to specify what measures have been taken to curb and identify corrupt practices and to give a detailed account of the new reforms introduced in the ministries for streamlining the affairs with all attached departments.