The activities of Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (PMIC) have considerably slowed down during the tenure of the present government as it has received few assignments from the Prime Minister’s Office, it was learnt. Sources in the Inspection Commission told Business Recorder that “we have received a few assignments during the last one and half years from the Prime Minister’s office, which is the sole source of the Commission’s work”.
An official requesting anonymity conceded that perhaps the Prime Minister is busy facing major challenges and does not have the time to give assignments to the Commission. He added: “not much is being done in the Commission” which was established to achieve good governance in the country with greater accountability and eradication of corruption. Sources said they were privy to a few small inquiries by the PMIC during the last one year, including the one into the scandal of University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar, but was not aware of any major inquiry.
They added that recommendations are submitted to the Prime Minister after conducting an inquiry or probe into assignment either by physical inspection, holding hearing or inspection of recorded data; however, in most of the cases the Commission does not receive response/report from the PM office on its recommendations.
Sources further stated that PMIC remained very active during the tenure of previous government with the exception of 2012-13. The official claimed that sole objective of the Commission has been to bring about transparency and improvement in governance and performance of state institutions through a supervisory mechanism. The slowdown in activities, he added may have affected its overarching objective; namely to redress the grievances of the general public though he added that the Commission had touched a range of subjects including shortage of essential commodities, fertilizer, load-shedding and energy crisis and petroleum prices etc.
The PMIC has functioned under different names since its inception in 1960, ranging from Governor’s Inspection team for West Pakistan in 1960 to the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission/Team established to improve official business, check corruption and arrest the perpetrators. The PMIC established in 1998 and was named as Chief Executive’s Inspection Commission in 1999 after the removal of elected government by the former military ruler general Pervez Musharraf. In April 2004, the PMIC was revived.
Since its establishment, the Commission has prepared comprehensive reports and apprised the Prime Minister with the findings in the matter. An official of the PMIC claims that the exercise has so far addressed numerous issues and projects of national importance including issues of electricity tariff, inflated Sui gas bills, federal and provincial government relations, law and order issues / terrorism, environment, drinking water supply, lack of transparency and corruption in government departments as well as water shortage in various areas of Islamabad, lack of prices control and supply of commodities/items especially in Ramazan and at utility stores. The Commission, however, does not have the power to take suo motu notices of any public grievance or national issue and has to completely rely on the Prime Minister to make the selection in this regard.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT