ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel has expressed concern over the Ministry of Housing and Works, which failed to brief lawmakers over its performance during the last three years in under-developed areas.
During a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee chaired by Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Karak, the performance of the ministry and its attached departments in lesser-developed areas and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) was discussed.
Although Ministry of Housing and Works Secretary Shahrukh Arbab was present, he failed to satisfy the lawmakers and was eventually asked to come up with a complete record in the next meeting.
The committee chairman asked the secretary to brief about the number of projects that were completed in the last three years and the ones still pending, along with the total allocation of the ministry last year.
During the meeting, the officials from the Public Works Department (PWD) – an attached department of the ministry – informed the lawmakers that out of 27 development schemes in Balochistan, not a single scheme was completed in 2014-15. About 110 schemes out of 131, and 13 out of 43 were completed in the less-developed areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Sindh, respectively.
“If the ministry fails to brief the committee next time, we will move a resolution in the senate,” said Kakar who was irked over the absence of the Minister of Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani in the meeting.
Similarly, the committee was told that the amount for development schemes in Balochistan was released on June 14 and 19 last year the work could not be completed.
The committee decided to take up the matter with the Ministry of Finance and check which department was responsible for the delay. It was noted that the federal government has allocated Rs6.63 billion for 68 projects in the development budget of the ministry for 2016-17.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2016.