PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has utilised only 0.11 per cent of the development budget for Newly Merged Districts (NMDs) in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
The provincial government had increased the development funds for merged tribal districts from Rs83 billion to Rs95 billion of which Rs23 billion was released.
However, the government could utilise only Rs110 million so far. Moreover, the promised funds of Rs59 billion under the 10-year development strategy and the funds for 14 departments could not be released.
Meanwhile, 23 departments of the NMDs were still unable to use the funds allocated to them due to the absence of directives from the competent authority.
K-P government has allocated Rs83billion for the development work of seven tribal districts and frontier region in the current fiscal year 2019-20. However, at the end of the first three months, the development budget has been increased to Rs95 billion out of which Rs23.56 billion was released and expenses limited to Rs110.23 million..
During the first quarter, according to the records, of the provincial government spent Rs6.6 million on agriculture sector, Rs16.6million on buildings, Rs17.6 million on water supply schemes, Rs5.7 million on primary and secondary education projects, Rs27.6 million on health services, Rs0.1 million on home department, Rs0.9 million on information department, Rs0.1 million on multi-sector development, Rs0.2 million on relief and rehabilitation, Rs23.6million on roads, Rs0.7million on social welfare and Rs17.6 million on water conservation sector.
In the first quarter, funds were not issued for ten-year development strategy, transport, science and technology. information technology, religious and minority affairs, the board of revenue, excise and taxation, Fata development authority, food, labour, law and justice, minerals, population welfare and poverty alleviation schemes.
However, funds were released for the departments of tourism, municipalities, industry, urban, development, energy and power, environment, finance , forests and higher education, but they could not start utilising the allocations.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2019.