Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has launched a new initiative called the Prime Minister’s Innovation Hub, a platform where citizens can directly pitch policy proposals and projects that if selected, will then be pitched in person. The best idea will be rewarded by the PM.
The panel that will be vetting the ideas submitted by citizens includes Faisal Bari, Mosharraf Zaidi, Shahrukh Wani, Ayesha Raza Farooq and Shaza Fatima Khawaja. The initiative was launched today (Friday).
In addition to the Innovation Hub, the PM also introduced a number of public sector reforms.
The reforms were announced on Thursday by Head of Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Salman Sufi in a press conference, and pertain to sectors such as customs, banking, overseas Pakistanis, information technology, health and social and animal welfare.
As per the new reforms, overseas Pakistanis returning back to Pakistan will be allowed to carry $1,200 worth of duty-free baggage with them. Sufi told reporters that according to the FBR’s new rules, Pakistanis returning home within 30 days, 60 days and onward could carry duty-free baggage worth up to $400, $800 and $1200, respectively.
Within the sector of banking, the reforms introduced include a portal launched by the SECP, through which banks can easily open fast-track accounts of small and medium enterprises without the usual manual documentation.
The State Bank of Pakistan will also be launching a new app to prevent bogus cheques, through which people can view details of accountholders and see if they have ever issued a cheque that has bounced.
According to another banking reform, the account holder of one bank would be able to open more accounts with other banks without having to go through the entire process that they had to go through the first time.
For the first time, cruelty against animals will be a punishable offense under the law. The offender could be jailed for being cruel to animals.
Additionally, a nationwide hotline was also being launched jointly with the human rights ministry to effectively register and resolve the complaints of the transgender community.