Marriyum stresses more effective media role in oversight,implementation of social sector projects

ISLAMABAD, Dec 1 (APP): Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb Thursday stressed the need for more effective media role in oversight and implementation of social sector projects.
She was speaking as chief guest at the inaugural session of a two day National Roundtable on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) here.
The minister said that targets set in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could not be achieved as parliament and media could not play any constructive role in creation of awareness among the masses.
The minister said that objective of the course was to guide the media persons about the SDGs importance.
She said under the GSP Plus, journalists would be provided training and added she had also talked to European Union ambassadors for capacity building of the media professionals.
She opined that Parliament and media had to play important roles in the achievements of SDGs.
She said that in 2012 it was decided that each country should focus on two sectors and Pakistan selected health and education.
The minister said that the biggest problem of Pakistan were census and the SDGs Secretariat would write a letter to the prime minister that this issue should be included in agenda of next Council of Common Interests meeting.
She said non availability of authentic population data was an impediment in achievement of social sector’s targets.
She said that in 2013, Pakistan became the first country to have a full fledged parliamentary secretariat and a task force, and both federal and provinces assemblies.
She said one feature of the parliamentary oversight was that all ministries and departments related to a sector sit together in integrated sectoral meetings to sort out the issues.
Giving example of choking of sewage system of some schools in
Islamabad she said that both Capital Administration Development
Division and Capital Development Authority (CDA) under different ministries were called by the parliamentary committee and the issue was resolved.
She said that during the last two years, the members of
Parliament had been touching the health and eduction issues in their budgetary speeches and the credit goes to the SDGs Secretariat.
She said that all the license holders of PEMRA were bound to
give some time to create awareness on social and public issues, but that was not being done. She said that beat reporters could do advocacy on areas of health, education, women empowerment, climate change etc by highlighting the issues in these areas.
She said that the members of SDGs task force had been given
scorecard to contain data of funds, ongoing projects and problems being faced by their respective constituencies.
She said that the members of Parliament got good response from
the voters, if all children in their constituencies go to schools and Basic Health Units performance improves.
She disclosed that all members of the SDG task force were given
tasks and they raised social sector issues through calling attention notices, questions in the Question Hour and Point of Orders.
The minister said that for training and capacity building of the media her ministry would activate academies working under its control.
She said priorities set by SDGs for 2018 included education, health, climate change, HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation, urban planning, and polio immunization scheme.
Earlier Executive Director PIPS, Zafarullah Khan said that development and progress of the country was linked with parliamentary debates and legislation.
President PRA Siddiq Sajid said that it was a good omen that for the first time a seminar was being organised on SDGs, an area neglected in the past.
He appreciated the role being played by Marriyum Aurangzeb in running the affairs of the SDGs Secretariat and its task force.