PESHAWAR: The key government departments have failed to spend billions of rupees in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2011-12 leaving the Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) coalition lagging behind in completing much-needed projects.
The sources in the Planning and Development (P&D) department told The News that the ADP execution figures showed that major line departments in the province had spent Rs59.31 billion of the revised Rs71.58 billion by July 3, 2012. They said it pointed to the likelihood that less than half of the money had been utilised by the close of the outgoing fiscal year.
The sources said it has affected both the quantity and quality of public services and the pace of economic growth also remained subdued that perturbed many provincial ministers affiliated to the ANP.
The provincial government, however, diverted and re-appropriated the 17 percent of funds that otherwise were destined to lapse due to the lethargy of government officials, the sources said.
They added that the average monthly expenditure of the ADP was Rs3 billion though it should have been around Rs5 billion in the last fiscal. This anomaly forced the government to release about Rs25 billion in advance in June, making it impossible for the inspection teams to carry out physical verification of the development projects.
The P&D sources said to avoid any anomaly and unnecessary delay in the utilisation of development funds the government has already put in place a system of quarterly releases of the recurrent budgets at the district level to reduce burden of the quarters engaged in spending of development funds on various projects.
The figures provided to The News by P&D sources showed that Rs1.35 billion was allocated to the Agriculture Department, which was later revised as Rs1.19 billion, but Rs746 million only could be utilized. The Auqaf, Hajj, Religious and Minority Affairs department was given the estimated development budget of Rs78 million which was later revised to Rs67 million. However, the department could spend Rs46 million only.
The drinking water and sanitation sector got the revised development budget of Rs3.66 billion, but it spent Rs2.80 billion during the last fiscal. The revised development budget of the Elementary and Secondary Education department was about Rs8 billion, but it could use Rs6.29 billion only. The Higher Education department could also spend Rs3.30 billion only of its revised development budget of Rs4 billion.
The Home department spent Rs2.22 billion only of its revised Rs3.30 billion development budget. The Information department was allocated Rs112 million but it could spend Rs51 million only.
The water sector’s development budget was revised at Rs5 billion, but the department spent Rs4.22 billion during the entire fiscal year. The Industries department could spend Rs1.61 billion only of its revised Rs2.38 development budget.
The Urban and Regional Development were among the few departments that utilised the development funds during the stipulated time. The roads sector also failed to spend its development allocations and utilised Rs10 billion only of the revised development outlay of Rs12.7 billion.
Special assistant to the chief minister, Syed Masoom Shah, when contacted said that Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti had always been keen on completion of projects in all sectors, but in some cases quality, not time is of the essence.He added that in the meantime the government has embarked upon a number of initiatives to raise capacity of its functionaries to better utilise public funds.