The growing complaint against NADRA—— appearing in the print and electronic media regularly has stirred me to write this letter. Recently BBC Urdu Service has aired interview of a poor woman from Thar ——- that comprises facts of very serious nature. According to her NADRA is not issuing an identity card to her for the last 4 years so she is not eligible for financial aid through Benazir Income Support Program. while not in procession of CNIC, she is also not entitled for free wheat quota distributed among poor families to minimize the problem of undernourishment in babies and children of Thar who are living dead due to starvation.
This lady also complained that she can also not exercise her right of vote in general election 2018. In April2016, a 62 years old lady from Lahore sought the help of Lahore High Court because NADRA had denied issuance of an identification card to her for eleven years. A government department that has 201 million clients’ needs close observation for the achievement of goals. A frequent brush-up is another solution to run effectively departments of central importance. The caretaker has to review this department efficiency in the views of general public complaints. According to a reliable report issued in December 2016, the Federal Ombudsman has received 18,620 complaints of people from across Pakistan, as well as from overseas Pakistani against the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) over the last three years.
NADRA is the next government body after WAPA—- against which the general public has staged protest on the roads of big cities. According to a reliable report issued in June 2017, National Database and Registration Authority has revealed that some 28,367 ghost employees are working in various departments of the Baluchistan government and getting salaries. At present there are 121 million women who are not registered with Election Commission of Pakistan because many of them are not having CNIC. The national identity card first introduced in 1973. Its importance was realized in general election held in mid-eighties. Then gradually with the passage of time its importance was attached to everything which is not applicable in every case. A one-day-old baby is NADRA`s client via a document called “Form B’’. At present NADRA is running 6 Internationals projections——- to provide technical/ expert services to 6 countries outside Pakistan and about 25 local projects to fulfil the domestic requirements.
I will suggest the following for a smooth and an efficient NADRA:
1 Appointment of an Independent Supervisory Body at Federal, Provincial, GB and AJK level to hear the complaints of applicants against NADRA. The Ombudsman office available for such public service is already overloaded thus a separate Supervisory Body formation for NADRA shall be a commendable step to facilitate the general public who at certain occasion needs the help of Higher Courts against the one-sided decision of NADRA.
2 NADRA should not renew previous contracts signed with countries abroad for the provision of expert services. Because a lot of unfinished task yet to be accomplished at home.
3 NADRA should regularly send Mobile Registration Team <MRT> to the far- flung areas like Thar etc. etc.
4 NADRA should review and reduce its charges———to counteract the public concept that NADRA is a state-owned- business enterprise.
5 As a good gesture NADRA should issue CNIC to the poor people of Thar free of charges for a specified period of time at least once every year.
6 NADRA centres located and operated outside big cities are devoid of basic facilities like cooling and heating system in waiting rooms, bath rooms and drinking water. A team of Overseers (comprising non- NADRA members) should inspect the centres and recommend about remedial action.
7 This public related body should have its official website translation in simple Urdu language too as soon as possible.
DR MUKHTAR ALI,
Kurram Agency, August 14.