Amid public criticism and media reports of mismanagement, irregularities, the cash-strapped Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Friday unveiled its balance sheet with a total outlay of Rs33.98 billion for fiscal year 2013-14, showing 20 per cent increase in the volume against the outgoing financial year’s budget.
The board members discussed the budget in an airconditioned room, powered by a generator as the authority’s electricity supply has been suspended by Iesco over non-payment of Rs1851.26 million in bills.
The generator that was serving the entire building heated up and crashed which resulted in a brief delay in issuing the official budget statement.
Strangely, unlike past practice, the budget was not presented at a press conference, owing to the latest ‘austerity’ drive to save money.
Like previous years, the authority has set ambitious development and revenue targets in the budget with a promise to undertake a number of austerity measures that, according to the document, would result in savings of Rs1.9 billion.
The civic agency has set a revenue target of Rs33.8 billion, including Rs5.7 billion from revenue accounts and Rs27.2 billion from selling residential and commercial plots in sectors C-15, C-16, I-12 and other developed sectors.
For the outgoing fiscal year, the authority had planned to generate Rs26.07 billion from its own resources, but the audit report marks only Rs10.28 billion in this head.
For development expenditure Rs20.9 billion or 62 per cent of the total budget, has been earmarked. For the outgoing fiscal year, the authority had announced to spend 35 per cent of the total budget under this head but it missed 74.39 per cent of its planned targets pertaining to the development of the federal capital according to an audit report.
Around 38 per cent of the total budget, or Rs13.1 billion, has been set aside for non-development expenditures, compared to Rs12.3 billion last year.
A total of Rs14.6 billion has been earmarked for ongoing projects and Rs4.5 billion for new schemes.
An amount of Rs7 billion has been assigned for four priority projects which include development of Sectors I-15, C-15 and C-16, acquisition of land in Sector H-16 and compensation of acquired land in Mauza Sheikhpur, Jhangi Syedian, Badhana Kalan, Mauza Noon. An allocation has also been made for the first phase of conversion of electricity-run street lights to solar-powered.
The federal government has already allocated Rs3.6 billion for CDA on account of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and maintenance grant for the year 2013-14.
Estimated expenditures on PSDP-funded schemes include Rs334.4 million for the under-construction Kashmir Highway, Rs780 million for construction of additional 104 family suites for parliamentarians, Rs416.9 million for construction of Chirah Dam and Rs100 million for construction of additional blocks for the Senate and National Assembly secretariats.
Moreover, a sum of Rs1.26 billion has been set aside to meet the expected rise in pay and allowances, pension and utility charges of employees. A revolving fund with Rs50 million seed money has been earmarked for residential and other advances to staffers.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2013.
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