LAHORE - Punjab Chief Secretary (CS) Jawwad Rafique Malik on Saturday visited the E-Khidmat Center at Arfa Software Technology Park and reviewed the facilities, especially the 32 newly-introduced services related to the construction sector, being provided there.

The CS inspected various sections of the centre and inquired the citizens about the quality of the service. A citizen namely Syed Kamal Haider Advocate said that it was a great surprise for him that the design of his residential building was approved without visiting offices in a short span of only 10 days.

Through video link, Muhammad Arif from Multan and Raja Nasir from Sahiwal also praised the newly-introduced services and said that they did not face any difficulty in the process of approval of their building designs. Chief Secretary also sought suggestions from the citizens for further improvement of the facilities.

Chief Secretary directed the Chairman of Planning and Development (P&D) to prepare a comprehensive strategy for expanding the scope of E-Khidmat centres and to immediately start the same services in the districts through the manual procedure under one-window operation. He said that the development of the construction sector was a priority of the government and, therefore, the process of approval of maps and obtaining permits for construction had been made easy. He said that the purpose of the newly-introduced services was to provide maximum convenience to the people engaged in the construction sector. He said that under the automated system, the timeline should be implemented in any case; any delay would not be tolerated at all.

Chief Secretary said that the use of technology was the need of the hour and the provincial government would take all possible steps to promote e-governance and improve public service delivery. He said that the capacity of government departments and institutions would be enhanced through the use of IT. He directed that an effective awareness campaign be launched on the services provided to the public at the E-Khidmat centers so that more and more people could avail them.

In the briefing, Chief Secretary was informed that 78 services including 32 related to the construction sector were being provided at the E-Khidmat centres including construction permits for commercial and residential buildings, approval of maps, new housing schemes, issuance of various certificates, domicile and national identity card. It was briefed that a time limit of maximum 30 days for approval of map for the construction of commercial and residential buildings, 45 days for conversion (commercialization), 60 days for approval of new housing schemes by development authorities and 75 days for approval by Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) had been set.