PESHAWAR: Nearly half of the funds allocated during the ongoing fiscal year, under an accelerated plan to develop the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata), have been spent.
This was disclosed on Friday during a meeting on Friday to review the progress and implementation of projects under the Accelerated Implementation Plan (AIP) in the newly-merged tribal districts (NMTDs) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair.
During the meeting, Mahmood was told that as many as 168 different developmental projects have been initiated in NMTDs under AIP during the on-going fiscal year.
With the projects aiming to bring these areas at par with other developed districts of the province, around 41 per cent of funds allocated for merged districts under the AIP has been utilised, officials said.
Additionally, around 71 per cent of funds allocated under the Insaf Rozgar scheme have been spent to provide jobs to the youth of NMTDs. Similarly, 71 per cent of funds allocated for the extension of Rescue 1122 services to merged districts have also been utilised.
A scheme for the provision of medical equipment at district and tehsil headquarters hospitals of the merged areas has been launched, while work on rehabilitating damaged schools in these districts has been initiated, with work orders having been issued.
The meeting also reviewed in detail the progress made so far on the developmental projects under AIP launched for the sustainable development of the merged districts.
Obstacles hindering the smooth implementation of some of the schemes were also flagged during the forum and important decisions were made to resolve them, officials said.
Officials expressed concerns over the slow implementation of several projects due to issues in acquiring land for projects. However, the issue is expected to have been resolved permanently after necessary amendments were made to the land acquisition law.
The concerned authorities informed the meeting that a public access campaign has been launched in merged districts to directly interact with the people of merged districts so that their inputs could be availed for the sustainable development of the areas.
Mahmood was told that public of the merged areas has been provided with facilities to directly contact the Chief Minister Secretariat by telephone to lodge complaints.
CM Mahmood said that rapid development of merged districts was the top priority of the incumbent government and directed the relevant authorities to implement the development plan for the merged districts rapidly.
He further directed that work should be initiated on a war footing for solarizing district and tehsil headquarters hospitals and schools in NMTDs. Moreover, work should commence on the construction of sports complexes in all the merged districts.
Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Akbar Ayub, Advisor to CM on Information Ajmal Wazir, Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Iqbal Wazir, Additional Chief Secretary Shakeel Qadir Khan, Principal Secretary to CM Shahab Ali Shah and other senior officials of all the provincial departments attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2020.