Have you ever thought why there’s a need to attest your degrees to process application for a government job or an admission? Why there’s a need to run behind the gazetted officers to complete this process? These cumbersome procedures delay such time-bound applications and cause a lot of confusion and problems to the applicants.
Punjab Government has understood such common problems of its citizens and abolished affidavits in April, 2015. This is a state government’s initiative to bring governance reforms for the benefit and convenience of its people. The idea is to implement an affidavit-free regime and bridge the gap between citizens and government.
The concept of affidavits owes its origin to the colonial times. The government then required the citizens to declare their qualifications and guarantee their word. But now, this practice holds no relevance as the state government is taking an initiative to support its citizens and helping them with policy reforms.
The policy caught government’s attention through statistics captured at the state’s Suwidha Centres. The state government found out that more than 60% of the services were dedicated to the attestation of affidavits. It was evident that both the government and its citizens were experiencing inconvenience due to this burdensome procedure. A lot of resources in terms of time, energy and money were strained on affidavits.
A detailed analysis highlighted that the rising attestations were conducted for school and college admission and applications for government services. Needless to say, the procedure caused a lot of panic and inconvenience to the applicants while submitting the deadline based forms. Hence, the Government of Punjab decided to amend the affidavit policies for the benefit of its people.
And now, the students and job seekers in Punjab will not have to rush for affidavit attestation as the state government has already abolished the requirements for affidavit declaration. This minimum use of affidavits will shift to self-certification for students and job applicants. The state government has also waived-off the affidavit procedure on 88 services.
This initiative has not just empowered the citizens of Punjab, but has also reduced state’s burden. According to the government, the abolition of affidavits will save Rs. 300 Crores. Not only that, it will also restore trust and dignity of its citizens and save them from unnecessary litigation. However, the government has identified 12 services where an affidavit is mandatory as per State & Central laws.
The state government has also implemented governance reforms at Government to Government (G2G) and Government to Consumer (G2C) services levels. Punjab has always kept its people priority. To serve them, the state has established Sewa Kendras, Saanjh Kendras, Fard Kendras, Suvidha Kendras and Gram Suvidha Kendras throughout the state. In coming years, the government would also set up 2147 Sewa Kendras in villages to provide hassle-free citizen centric services to people at grass root level.
By launching these centers, Punjab Government has reiterated its commitment towards serving its people. Such citizen-centric initiatives have brought accolades like ‘Best Governance Practice’ award to Punjab. All such developments have led the state pave a new era of ‘Reforming Punjab’ on a larger scale.