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June 29, 2006

CDGL's Rs 21 b budget okayed amid pandemonium

Top Story

June 29, 2006

LAHORE: The district assembly approved the CDGL budget of Rs 21.584 billion for the financial year 2006-07 amid unprecedented pandemonium and boycott by the opposition members at the Town Hall Wednesday.

Things went from bad to worst right from the start of the meeting when District Nazim Mian Aamir Mahmood started the budget speech and members of the opposition wearing black armbands occupied the stage and tore apart the copies of the budget terming it anti-poor.

The members of the opposition started shouting slogans, saying that the budget copies were not provided to them in advance which reflected the mala fide intention on the part of the leader of the house.

Then some of the members of the treasury and the opposition benches got physical and the female members belonging to the opposition also complained of manhandling by the treasury members.

The opposition members said they were not consulted in connection with the preparation of the budget and their proposals were not included in the budget, hence they boycott the budget.

The members of the opposition belonging to the PPP, PML-N and MMA threw the copies of the budget in air and went out of the hall as a token of protest after the police was rushed in to calm down the situation. However, amid unprecedented uproar the district nazim continued his budget speech and the district council later on 'unanimously' approved the CDGL budget for the fiscal year 2006-07.

At one time the district nazim lost his patience and threatened the opposition members of getting a case registered against them if they tried to set a fire in the Town Hall and created law and order situation.

The nazim said over Rs 10.31 billion will be spent on the salary of the staff and under the head of other non-developmental expenditures. He said Rs 7.85 billion have been earmarked for the developmental expenditures. He said never in the history of the district government such a huge amount

was allocated for development schemes. The treasury members termed the budget as 'historic' which had a phenomenal volume. He said Rs 2344.347 million will be spent under the head of development budget.

The CDG will spend Rs 232.755 million on development projects in the field of education. Rs 94.800 million will be spent on rehabilitation and repair of 30 schools of the CDGL which were badly damaged by the devastating earthquake last year. Aamir said Rs 69.205 million will be spent on the construction of boundary wall of 99 schools while Rs 20.350 million will be spent on the provision of power, water and other schemes in 100 schools.

Classrooms and toilets will be built in eight primary and middle schools at a cost of Rs 22.200 million. Rs 7.20 million will be spent on buildings for two new schools while Rs 19 million will be spent on the renovation of five schools.

The CDGL will spend Rs 325.757 million on reconstruction, repair and rehabilitation of various roads namely Main Boulevard Road Allama Iqbal Town, Bahawalpur Road, Circular Road, repair of footpaths and service lane of Shahra Quaid-e-Azam, from Regal to Charing Cross, Bund Road, Bedian Road, from Jallu Mor to Ravi Siphon, tuff tiles in Gulistan Colony, Lodge Street Old Anarkali, Lytton Road, soling in Shamasabad Shahdara, Main Bazaar Makka Colony Gulberg III, carpeting of Main Bazaar Qurban Lines, Abubakar, Ahmad and Ali Blocks in Garden Town, Taj Road Farooq Ganj and construction of road in C-Block of the CDGL Colony.

The nazim said the CDGL health department will spend Rs 27.20 million on the construction of dispensaries and provision of medical facilities in Township, Tajpura, Gulberg, Infectious Disease Hospital Bilal Ganj while Rs 27 million will be spent under the Citizen Community Development Board for provision of facilities in Blood Component Centre in Model Town and Filter Clinic on Wahdat Road.

The CDGL will spend Rs 820,000 for the increase of vegetables production, Rs 4.5 million on laser land levelling service and Rs 3 million for Mobile Veterinary Service Unit. The CDGL will spend Rs 1 million on the promotion of greenery and enhancing roadside plantation while Rs 2 million will be spent on other facilities in the field of agriculture. Rs 289,000 will be spent on the production of fish.

He said the CDGL will spend Rs 9 million on supply of electricity for the streetlights of the roads maintained by the CDGL. The CDG through SWM will spend Rs 20 million for the purchase of land measuring 500 kanals for landfill site in Kahna, Rs 20 million for Saggian Transfer Station and Rs 300,000 on the development of road in Mahmood Booti Landfill Site, Rs 2 million for development works in Sundar, Rs 3 million for the establishment of workshops for three towns, Rs 5 million on the purchase of six tonne capacity, three dumper trucks, Rs 5 million on the purchase of tractors with front-end loaders and excavators, Rs 1.3 million on the purchase of four tractors, Rs 1.5 million on the purchase of 50 wireless and five radio sets for the SWM.

Aamir said Rs 6751.984 million have been allocated for non-development expenditures while Rs 2344.347 have been reserved for the developmental works. The opening balance of the budget is Rs 722.825 million, provincial receipts stand at Rs 6301.566 while own receipts would be Rs 603.500 million. The Octroi grant will be of Rs 1179.385 million while Rs 17.200 million will be spent on supplementaries of non-development. Tied Grants (ESRP and HRSP) will generate Rs 382.021 million.

Non-Development Expenditures: He said Rs 11.963 million will be spent on the renovation, repair, rehabilitation and on other expanses of the district nazim office. Likewise, Rs 5.502 million will be spent on the office of district naib nazim for the similar purpose.

As many as Rs 41.447 million have been allocated for the DCO office under the head of non-development expenditure, Rs 387.587 million have been reserved for the district finance and planning department. Rs 284.530 million have been allocated for the revenue department while Rs 3244.503 million have been reserved for the education department.

He said the district health department has been allocated the share of Rs 538.387 million under the head of non-development expenditures while the Works and Services Department will get Rs 367.556 million and district agriculture department will get Rs 116.904 million.

Aamir said the Community Development has been allocated Rs 231.772 million while Rs 14.581 million has been allocated for the information technology department.

He said the literacy department will get Rs 2.478 million and the law department will get Rs 5.905 million during the financial year under the head of non-development during the fiscal year of 2006-2007. The municipal and services department will get Rs 1498.871 million.

He said the money reserved under the non-development head will be spent on salaries of the staff, furniture of the offices, petrol, buildings rent, utilities bills, water supply and miscellaneous.

Later, addressing the post-budget press conference, Mian Aamir said the budget copies were given to the members of the opposition Tuesday evening. He said their proposals had been included in the formation of the budget. He said he held four meetings in a week with the so-called opposition. He revealed that every member of the opposition demanded Rs 1 million each for the 'development works' in their respective constituencies. Aamir said they were giving priority to the health department and the shortage of doctors was badly hampering their efforts. He said BHUs, RHCs, dispensaries and filter clinics were being constructed for the delivery of health facilities.

To a question, he said that the summary regarding the honorarium of the members had been sent to the Punjab chief minister. He said coordinator in a UC was appointed after its nazim failed to deliver. He said he was strict in monitoring of the development schemes.

Opposition members including Waheed Alam, Zahid Ali Shah, Sheikh Iqbal, Akbar Khan and others while talking to reporters on the stairs of Town Hall said they pointed out towards the lack of quorum and the presence of irrelevant persons in the hall but in vain. They alleged that the leader of the house showed partiality and sided with the treasury.

They said the provision of potable water in the city had emerged as a gigantic problem and the rulers were least bothered towards this gravest of the problems.

They said work on various schemes had already been started much before the preparation of the budget. They said members belonging to the treasury were busy minting money at the cost of public inconvenience. They said there was no plan for the improvement of the city and the rulers were hoodwinking the masses. They said the discussion on the budget should have been held one day after presentation in the house. They said there was not a single penny reserved for the minorities.

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