Govt takes flak for sluggish development spending

PESHAWAR: The Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA), a non-governmental organization, on Monday criticized the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government over sluggish development spending.

In a statement issued here, the CGPA said the spending details available on the provincial finance department’s official website showed Rs31.14

billion was spent on Jan 5, 2016, from the total of Rs175.02 billion annual development programme for the fiscal year 2015-16.

It said as on Jan 5, 2016, the government had released Rs67.8 billion for development projects.

The CGPA said it had filed two requests to KP finance and Planning and Development (P&D) departments under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013 to triangulate the information available on the finance department website, but despite a lapse of more than 20 days, no expenditure details were provided.

It urged the government to expedite utilisation of development budgets, which, it said, had been a regular concern for the province.

The CGPA said its analysis of the use of development budget for 2015-16 depicted that 18 per cent of its allocated development budget had been used in the first half of FY 2015-16.

“In terms of actual expenditure, the road sector utilised Rs6.41 billion from the total of Rs19 billion allocated under the KP ADP 2015-16. The district ADP, which secured Rs30.2 billion, utilised Rs6.08 billion.

On the other hand, the local government department given Rs18.3 billion could utilise Rs2.7 billion only,” it said.

According to the CGPA, the elementary and secondary education used only Rs1.8 billion from the total of Rs15.9 billion funds.

Similarly, the health sector could utilise only Rs1.5 billion from the total of Rs12.4 billion.

The water sector was given Rs6.8 billion but it used Rs1.8 billion, while the drinking water and sanitation sector secured Rs7.3 billion funds but spent Rs1.5 billion.

The higher education sector’s allocations totaled Rs6.1 billion but the sector utilised Rs1.2 billion only.

CGPA programme manager Malik Masood asked the government to adopt efficient and accountable mechanisms for improving ADP spending.

He said the government should improve its timely funds utilization capacity and implement other legislations for good governance.