CM K-P instates Whistleblowers Protection and Vigilance Act
PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has given the green signal to the much-trumpeted Whistleblowers Protection and Vigilance Act 2015.
During a cabinet meeting on Friday, a host of legislations and other drafts were tabled before Khattak. He also approved the K-P Board of Investment Act 2015, K-P Civil Service Amendment Act 2015, K-P Endowment Fund Act 2014, and K-P Health Foundation Act 2015. Amendments in K-P Ehtesab Commission Act 2014, the Provincial Services Academy Act 2013, K-P Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act 2015, K-P Local Government Act 2013 and Journalist Welfare Fund were also approved. Khattak also okayed the K-P Agricultural Policy 2015.
Sharing details of the meeting, Minister for Information Mushtaq Ghani termed the whistleblower legislation “monumental in rooting out corruption”. He said the act is meant to engage the public in pointing out such elements within the government’s ranks.
Under the act, an autonomous Vigilance Commission led by a chairman and three members will investigate filed complaints and suggest action against the accused. It will be empowered to hire the services of any government official it wants. If a government staffer refuses to cooperate, the commission can sentence the official to two years in the slammer and a fine of Rs0.5 million.
There is an incentive for the informants too. Not only will they be rendering a “service to the country”, they will be compensated through 30% of the looted and fined amount. Also, their identities will forever remain a secret.
Through the K-P Board of Investment Act 2015, the board of investment will comprise 15 to 20 members from both the public and private sector.
Khattak will lead as chairman while the appointments will also be approved by the government. The board will help investors deal with departments and prepare ground for the implementation of the Public-Private Partnership Act 2014.
It will act as the brains behind the province’s economic policy, prepare feasibility reports of projects and table recommendations.
After the 18th Constitutional Amendment, control of several departments was devolved to the provinces due to which its employees were facing hardships in receiving pensions, arrears and in transfers and postings. The civil servants legislation amendment, also approved on Friday, is meant to help address these issues.
On the other hand, the agricultural policy aims to increase efficiency in the production of fruit and vegetable as well as fish farming. Through the policy, new technology will be introduced. Under the policy, the government will facilitate the private sector while the University of Agriculture will also be revamped.
More money will be injected in the welfare fund for journalists as the health allowance has now been increased from Rs20,000 to Rs0.1 million.
Meanwhile, the CM also approved setting up the K-P Health Foundation during the Cabinet meeting.
The foundation will have a seven-member board of governors – one each from the planning and development and health departments, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an economist, a civil society member, a social development expert and an industrialist. The tenure of the private members is set at three years. The board will help streamline health policies and prepare standard operating procedures for public-private partnership programmes.
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