KARACHI, Feb 6: Sindh Assembly members did not get due answers from 48 Sindh government departments about their performance as of the over 11,000 questions, about 3,000 were tabled in the house during the five years to be completed in April, says a report compiled and handed over to the media by National People Party lawmaker Arif Mustafa Jatoi after the assembly session on Wednesday.
This shows that some 26 per cent of the questions were answered during the period. The human rights department did not respond to any question on its working, indicating sheer wastage of money on the staff and minister of the department.
In reply to a question, Mr Jatoi said no questions were answered in four of the five years tenure by the population welfare department. Similarly, despite a worsening law and order situation, it was shocking that no question on law and order were answered by the home department during the last two years.
“This is a very poor reflection on the government’s sincerity towards an open government and democratic process. If they are not prepared to answer questions raised by elected representatives of the people, what hope do ordinary people have of an accountable and open government?” he remarked.
“The key departments which are well known for corruption, such as land utilisation and revenue, have avoided accountability in the assembly.
Even the department responsible for controlling corruption (Anti-Corruption Department) has answered only 17 questions on the floor of the house. In any democracy, accountability of the government to parliament is the foundation of an open and transparent government,” the MPA said.
“This government has clearly not presented all its departments and ministers for public scrutiny. This is a very disappointing reflection on the ‘People’s government’.”
According to the report prepared by Mr Jatoi, during the five years the home department answered only 219 questions, the local government, 184; education, 177; agriculture, 167; and the irrigation, 136.
The worst five departments responding to answers were: the human rights, 0; rural development, four; youth affairs, five; co-operation, six, and population welfare, six.
The department which did not answer in three of the five years were:
The antiquities, bureau of supply and prices, co-operation, finance, health, land utilisation, law and parliamentary affairs, rural development and services and general administration.
The agriculture department performance was best as during all the five years it answered the forth highest number of questions, while the worst performance was that of the human rights department, which did not bother to respond to any question.