Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu today presided over two meetings with the representatives of 24 companies, focussing on a technical and financial audit of all the local bodies and an e-governance project involving the urban local bodies (ULBs). He said the e-governance project was launched as per directions of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Asserting that “top-notch” e-governance will mitigate the problems of the urban population, the local government minister said for several years, the concept existed only on the paper and the situation had now come to such a pass that things did not move beyond the Request For Proposal (RFP) stage in four cases and twice, the RFPs were not even invited.
He alleged that this was due to the “lack of will” of the previous Akali-BJP dispensation in the state to work diligently to safeguard public interest, leading to the people running from pillar to post for basic services such as getting approvals for maps, procuring birth and death certificates and permission for construction activities.
Vowing not to let down the aspirations of the people and to ensure transparency in implementing e-governance initiatives, the cricketer-turned-politician said the project would be implemented phase-by-phase.
In the first phase, five ULBs would be brought within the ambit of the project, which would be subject to a financial and technical audit, he said, adding that the reason behind the audit was not only to bring discrepancies to the fore, but also put in place necessary checks.
Sidhu also made it clear that the project would have to be “mandatorily” executed within a given time-frame.
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He said neither the quality would be compromised in executing the project nor would funds be any problem for its successful implementation.
Informing that a special cell in the local government ministry was functioning exclusively to cater to every aspect of the e-governance enterprise, Sidhu said the implementation of the project would be “uniform” and there would be no “discrimination or favouritism”.