Can the National Savings Organisation be reformed?
A dysfunctional bureaucracy with its outdated processes and attitudes has kept this country some 200 years behind the rest of the universe. A visit to any National Savings Branch provides one such glimpse of how our bureaucracy manages to perform this feat.
Millions of ordinary citizens visit National Saving branches every month. For many, the monthly profits are their only source of sustenance. They abhor the prospects of this visit. Lack of information, long queues, inadequate seating, delays, dungeon offices and bureaucratic procedures easily consume a major part of the day. The world over, customers no longer are given the trouble of visiting government offices to collect their dues. Instead the dues are sent to them. Can this happen in Pakistan too?
For last about 20 years, scores of citizens have urged the National Savings Organization to simplify their system and eliminate the need for people to visit the Saving Branches for collection of their monthly dividends. All that is needed is to ask customers to specify a bank and account number at which the profits can be automatically sent every month. Surely it requires National Savings to computerize all records and integrate them with back-end software that calculates profit and automatically transfers the amount to every customer’s specified bank account.
Is this asking for too much? Does it need technology that is not yet available in Pakistan? Does it require a World bank or ADB loan? Does it require billions of Rupees, thousands of experts or hundreds of years to accomplish this task?
For the past two decades the National Savings Organisation has been hoodwinking the people of Pakistan by making false promises of its planned computerization. Dubai increased the size of its airport ten times during this period. The government of Pakistan however fails to make even ‘small’ reforms that can lessen the misery of its ordinary people.