PESHAWAR: The provincial government on Wednesday approved construction of several kilometres of roads in the tribal areas apart from setting up the emergency rescue services in the seven tribal districts and enhancing health capacity there.
Moreover, the provincial government decided to retain the previous formula used to award the provincial finance commission award whereby shares were awarded to the newly merged areas.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) met in Peshawar on Wednesday, with K-P Chief Secretary Dr Shahzad Khan Bangash in the chair.
The party considered 41 projects pertaining to different sectors including health, water, roads, urban development, local government, relief and rehabilitation, forestry, elementary and Secondary education (ESE), DWSS, population welfare, and multi-sectoral development sectors for the uplift of the province.
Of these, the party approved 29 projects worth Rs12.2449 billion. The remaining 12 projects were deferred or not brought up owing to either inadequate design or other deficiencies. They were returned to their respective departments for rectification.
Among the approved projects was an additional sum of Rs72.71 million for procuring land for the Khar, Bajaur headquarters hospital. The party also approved a Rs1.09 billion for the capacity building of the health sector in the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata) including paying salaries of specialist doctors, the third phase of the mobile hospital programme in ex-Fata, upgrading the Centre of Excellence for Vitro Retinal Disease at the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) in Peshawar, upgrading the Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital in Kabal to a category-C hospital in the Swat District.
Approved projects in the water sector include the Sarobi Small Dam in North Waziristan and the Khara Ghara Small Dam in FR Bannu.
Approved projects of road sector include the construction of a 10-kilometre-long blacktop road for the balance length of Badar Manitol Shakl in South Waziristan, paving 25 kms of other roads in South Waziristan. Moreover, it includes the construction, Improvement and rehabilitation of roads in upper and lower Baizai in Mohmand, construction of roads and streets in Boko-Tashkand, Jhanda-Pajaman, Bada Check Post via Mangal Chai-Gabasni, Marguz-Yousafi, Pabani, Zarobi, Kalabat- Khazana, Sharshami Lar Kotha, Yara Khel Lar Kotha, Kalabat-Topi, Pabini, Kotha-Swabi,
Local Government projects include the Governance and Policy Project for Merged Areas (which will be assisted by the World Bank), establishing model sanitation villages in southern tribal districts of K-P, rehabilitation and improvement of underdeveloped areas of Swabi and Gasification of Sudhir, Yar Hussain.
Relief and rehabilitation projects include the establishment of Emergency Rescue Services (Rescue 1122) in the seven tribal districts of K-P, establishing Rescue 1122 in sub-divisions of the Frontier Regions and the establishment of a rehabilitation and reconstruction unit.
Forestry sector projects include afforestation in Bajaur, Torkham and Madakhell Water Shed. Moreover, tree cover in FR Peshawar will be promoted and developed while the degraded environment in Khyber will be ameliorated.
In education, a project to remove staff deficiencies for the newly merged areas will be undertaken. Further, grants-in-aid will be provided for the establishment of a Cadet College in Sararogha, South Waziristan. Another grant-in-aid will be for setting up a Cadet College in Wana.
Provincial finance commission
Meanwhile, a meeting of the 11th Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) was held at the Civil Secretariat in Peshawar on Wednesday with K-P Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra in the chair .
For the financial year 2019-20, the commission decided to persist with last year’s provincial finance commission formulas under which 60% of resources will be distributed amongst the districts on the basis of population.
A further 20% will be distributed on the basis of poverty while the remaining 20% will go to districts to shore up the lag of infrastructure there.
The commission also recommended approving budgetary provisions for the newly merged districts in the next financial year. It recommended a five per cent annual incremental increase in salaries and a 10 per cent increase in non-salary component for the merged districts.
For establishing 25 Tehsil Municipal Administrations (TMAs) in the newly merged areas, a grant of Rs542.617 million as a one-time operational grant during the next financial year was also approved. A summary in this regard for the K-P Chief Minister was also moved by the Local Government department.
An operational grant of Rs175 million for setting up district, village and neighbourhood councils in the newly merged areas was also approved. The commission also recommended Rs4 billion for developmental programmes in the merged districts for the fiscal year 2019-20. For the newly created Upper Chitral District, Rs1.485 billion was approved by the commission by bifurcating the budget for Chitral. Chitral Deputy Commissioner was also told to separate the development, salary and non-salary grant shares for the local councils in the district.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2019.