e-Khidmat Markaz Lahore wasting visitors’ time

A simple challan fee deposit takes hours, undue processes hurting center’s ‘serving the unnerved’ tagline

By Jahangir Hayat

LAHORE: The Punjab e-Khidmat Centre Lahore has become a hub of intense inconvenience and hardship for the citizens as a simple deposit of challan fee in the Punjab Bank booth inside the e-Khidmat Markaz takes hours due to the uncalled for entries, finger scanning, snapshots, tokens and many more unnecessary activities, Daily The Business has learnt.
“I have to visit the e-Khidmat Markaz to deposit challan fee in Bank of Punjab booth for registry of my land as I find no branch of the bank at the Model Town land registry office,” Nasir, a visitor said, adding that the uncalled for entries, finger scanning, snapshots and tokens for depositing the fee in the bank booth have wasted his precious time and when the whole process was completed, the staff has informed that the booth link is down and he has to come the other day only to waste another day, he lamented.
“Half of my day has been wasted in the unwarranted process to deposit a challan fee. “On the contrary, he said the challan fee is deposited within minutes in any other branch of the bank across the province.
Advocate Usman, another visitor termed the e-Khidmat Centre Lahore as “e-Zehmat Markaz”. He stated that all the exercise and entries for depositing challan fee are additional and sheer waste of time.
Simple ID card copy is more than enough, he said, adding that the centre seems a big burden on the national exchequer with top class infrastructure adding to the citizens’ hardship. Common sense must prevail at the e-Khidmat Centre, he expected. Other visitors of the e-Khidmat Centre complained of misbehavior, rudeness and high headedness of the centre’s staff, especially front desk staff.
When this correspondent visited IT Tower for taking the version of Additional and Project Director General Waseem Bhatti, he was not allowed to meet as only those guests have the privilege to meet the officers sitting at the IT center to whom they invite themselves.
However, his junior, a very soft spokes officer, Joint and Project Director Operations Rana Abid contacted the scribe after several attempts.
Giving his take on the story, he said that the basic purpose of this whole exercise is to maintain e-data of everyone who visits e-Khidmat Centre.
However, he said that the department would further examine the system in order to avoid inconvenience for the visitors.
It is pertinent to mention here that the e-Khidmat centers came into being to facilitate the public as this centers name suggests too.
It aims at minimizing distance to access, extending access to un-served groups, introducing transparency, efficiency and accountability, simplifying transaction procedures, minimizing costs to citizens, minimizing cost to government (internal efficiency), increasing government revenue, increased public satisfaction index, improving the transaction time for citizens and government, offering innovative services, modernization and adoption of best practices.
Currently, around nine e-Khidmat Markaz are operational in Punjab, including, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Bahawalpur, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan and DG Khan and more are likely to be set-up in other districts of Punjab. The government is said to have allocated huge funds to run these centers.

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