Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.
Transparency for contractor
Over the past years the Federal and Provincial governments of Pakistan have introduced procurement regulations for Government projects and contracts that has standardized the procurement process and made it easier for suppliers to apply and get information about the bidding process and results.
But the corrupt Government employees have found new ways to bypass the regulations and get their blue eyed contractors and consultants selected through the bidding process. Over the past two years, we have noticed that suppliers/consultants with less experience and skills are given a higher score during bidding process than the more experienced suppliers helping them with effectively win the bidding.
Similarly contractors/consultants are not able to raise any concerns and to even check how an inexperienced supplier can get a higher score. If a supplier says anything the Government officer can black list them and they won’t be able to appeal against the black listing to a third party.
To overcome these problems the Government of Pakistan should ensure that all bid score calculations and not just the results are displayed to suppliers that are bidding for the project. Similarly a copy of the score calculations and reasons for scoring by committee should also be uploaded to PPRA “bidding completed” project list website.
The Government should also introduce “bidding process dispute resolution” process, through which bidders of Government projects can request information, raise complaints in bidding process or resolve disputes in bidding process through a third party like PPRA or KPPRA etc.
The government should also introduce standards for submission, acceptance, storage and return of Bid Security and Bid Bond amounts in government contracts. As currently every government organization and department has their own process in which the Bid Security/Bond amounts are unutilized and some even get lost by the government officials. Improving the procurement regulations with these rules will strengthen government bidding process and make it more transparent while reducing chances of corruption by government officials.
SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER
Why learning history is important?
If you kindly publish this letter I will be very grateful to you. “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Learning history is so important as it plays a tremendous role in reuniting and redeveloping the nation. History reminds us the living standard of our forefathers. Knowing the art and literature of one’s nation reading history is very significant. It gives knowledge about customs, traditions, culture, norms and values. It is full of motivation and lessons. Reading of history develops leadership skills in a reader. History tell us the rise and of the nations. It shows us the path towards success. It provides us the knowledge about ancient civilizations. It teaches us unity, faith as well as discipline. It teaches us the most beautiful lesson that “ alone we can walk, but together we can run or united we stand, divided we fall.”
History strengths the nation to face the challenges and obstacles audaciously. It makes the nation brave. It teaches us an sterling behaviour. We are a strong nation with around 220 million population. We have our own identify. We should not forget our past and the hardworking and sacrifices of our elders who devoted their whole life for cause of Pakistan.
PIRZADA HASSAN RAZA
The World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10 October ever year. The theme for this yeary (2022) is “Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority” and has been set by the World Federation for Mental Health.
The prevalence of mental health problems in Pakistan is increasing rapidly due to current violent situation in Pakistani society. Common mental health problems have been identified in both the rural and urban population which seems to have a positive association with socio-economic adversities, relationship problems and lack of social support. Depressive and anxiety disorders appear to be highest followed by bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosomatic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The healthcare system’s response to mental health issues is not compatible as the mental illnesses exacerbates. There is a pressing need to review the national health policy to integrate a mental health care system to primary care to ameliorate the situation. The government needs to be persuaded to adopt a strategic plan integrated within its national development and health strategies. The collaboration of the public health sector, professional bodies in the mental health and the non-governmental organizations is vital to deal with the current challenges.
SAMAN ABDUL QAYYUM
Torrential rains and sudden floods in the month of August 2022 have caused an unimaginable disaster in Pakistan. Half of the country’s croplands have been washed away. As a result of this, the prices of essential commodities, such as food grains and vegetable, have reached tremendous heights. The devastating floods have killed around 1500 people, damaged over 15 lakh houses and caused at least a $15 billion loss to Pakistan’s economy.
The floods are arguably the worst natural disaster the country has ever faced, displacing millions and causing billions of dollars’ worth of property and infrastructure damage. It is clear from the many videos of the flash floods circulating on social media, that a large number of the damaged and destroyed buildings are either unsafe or have been erected on encroached land.
The heavy rains have not only broken down houses, killed people and damaged crops, but also given birth to deadly diseases like dengue and malaria. The problem has further increased due to a lack of medical facilities and mosquito nets.