Finance minister chairs meeting on OGP initiative

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 21 (APP)::Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Saturday chaired a meeting here at the Ministry of Finance regarding Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative.
The finance secretary and senior officials of the Finance Division and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) attended the meeting, according to press statement issued here.
The EAD officials briefed the minister on the progress of the National Action Plan (NAP) being prepared for submission to the OGP Secretariat. They said input for the NAP had been obtained from most of the stakeholders, and the process for gathering the remaining input was in progress.
The minister was apprised that the EAD had 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. A national workshop was also held in Islamabad in July 2017 in that regard.
Ishaq Dar directed the EAD to ensure that the input and commitments from all the stakeholders were incorporated in the NAP.
A broader-level consultation with all the stakeholders might be held prior to the submission of the NAP to the cabinet for approval, and subsequent submission to the OGP Secretariat, he added.
The minister emphasized that the government was fully committed to ensuring transparency and adopting international standards of governance. Accessions to the OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and submission of letter of intent to join the OGP were proof of the government’s commitment, he added.
It may be mentioned that Pakistan has already met the eligibility threshold for the membership to OGP, achieving 15 out of the 16 criteria.
The minister handed over Pakistan’s Letter of Intent to join the OGP to the French President during the fourth biennial OGP Global Summit held in Paris in December 2016.
An important requirement of the 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, the statement added.