Government yet to utilize Rupees 95 billion development funds

PESHAWAR: As the last quarter of the current financial year has commenced, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has yet to utilise Rs95.64 billion of the Annual Development Programme (ADP).

The total size of the ADP for the year 2014-15 is Rs139.8 billion, however, the departments concerned utilised only Rs45.03 billion by March 31, showing lack of capacity of the provincial government.

Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA), an independent monitoring body, said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led coalition government was yet to utilise 68 per cent of the ADP funds with less than 90 days left of the current financial year. The government will have to utilise Rs95.64 billion in the last three months of the year.

A minister alleged that bureaucracy was creating hurdles in the way of development schemes and as a result funds could not be spent properly. “Main problem is attitude of the bureaucracy which pinpoints irrelevant objections in development schemes that affects ADP,” he said, adding that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak reprimanded bureaucracy in meetings for its poor performance.

Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani, when approached, said that 45 to 48 per cent of the ADP had been spent by the end of third quarter and government was making efforts to utilise maximum portion of the ADP by the end of June.

Minister accuses bureaucracy of creating hurdles to execution of projects

He said that many schemes were taking off in the last quarter of the financial year and the government would specifically focus on construction of roads, pavement of streets and other schemes in the last three months. He said that 100 per cent utilisation of ADP was impossible and it never happened.

CGPA urged the provincial government to expedite utilisation of development budgets. In a statement it said that only Rs45.03 billion, 32 per cent of the total ADP, was utilised as on April 7 as the government had released about Rs 102.7 billion.

CGPA analysis of utilisation of development budget for the first three quarters of fiscal year 2014-15 depicts that only 27 per cent of the budget allocated to elementary and secondary education was utilised during the first nine months.

PTI had termed education its top priority and declared education emergency in the province to enhance literacy and bring drastic reforms in this vital sector.

Of the total Rs19.9 billion development budgets for elementary and secondary education, only Rs5.4 billion was utilised. Despite the fact that almost 2.5 million children were out of schools in the province, the government’s inability to spend development budgets efficiently and effectively was adding to the gravity of the education challenges, the statement said.

Allocation for roads was Rs17.26 billion and only Rs6.7 billion had been spent so far. Regional development, which covers some discretionary funds, was allocated Rs16.9 billion and actual utilisation in this sector was only Rs 4.8 billion.

Similarly, for health sector, Rs11.21 billion was allocated in 2014-15 ADP but only Rs3.1 billion had been spent.

Similarly, development budget utilisation in other sectors also remained low as in agriculture it was 29 per cent, Auqaf and religious affairs 26 per cent, drinking water and sanitation 34 per cent, energy and power 39 per cent, environment 10 per cent, finance 36 per cent, food 13 per cent, forestry 45 per cent, higher education 36 per cent, home 22 per cent , housing 28 per cent, industries 18 per cent, information 44 per cent, labour 1 per cent, law and justice 39 per cent, mines and minerals 11 per cent, population welfare 19 per cent, pro-poor special initiatives 19 per cent, research and development 36 per cent, social welfare 20 per cent, sports, tourism and archeology 37 per cent, science and technology and information technology 19 per cent, transport 9 per cent, urban development 28 per cent and water 56 per cent.