Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Saturday chaired a meeting at the Ministry of Finance regarding Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative.
Finance Secretary and senior officials of the Finance Division and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) attended the meeting.
EAD officials briefed the Finance Minister on the progress of the National Action Plan (NAP) being prepared for submission to OGP. They informed the Minister that input for the NAP has been obtained from most of the stakeholders, and EAD is in the process of gathering the remaining input.
The Minister was apprised that EAD has already organized a number of consultative meetings in Islamabad as well as in the provincial capitals for preparation of the National Action Plan, with the support of Federal Ministries, Provincial governments, Civil Society, Academia and other stakeholders. This includes a National Workshop held in Islamabad in July 2017.
Finance Minister directed EAD to ensure that input and commitments from all stakeholders are incorporated in the NAP. He further directed that a broader-level consultation with all stakeholders may be held prior to the submission of the NAP to the Cabinet for approval, and subsequent submission to the OGP Secretariat.
The Finance Minister emphasized that the government is fully committed to ensuring transparency and adopting international standards of governance. He said that the government’s accessions to the OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and submission of letter of intent to join OGP are proof of the government’s commitment.
It may recalled that Pakistan had already met the eligibility threshold for membership to OGP, achieving 15 out of the 16 criteria. The Finance Minister handed over Pakistan’s Letter of Intent to join OGP to the French President during the fourth biennial OGP Global Summit held in Paris in December 2016.
An important requirement of OGP is for the government to develop a national action plan in consultation with civil society and private sector, and to define commitments to foster transparency, accountability and public participation in all government processes.