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March 18, 2016

Village, neighbourhood councils get Rs8.3b funds


March 18, 2016

Utilisation mechanism simplified

PESHAWAR: In order to expedite utilisation of development funds at the lowest tiers of the local bodies, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has transferred Rs8.30 billion to the village and neighbourhood councils under the recently approved simplified mechanism to execute the development projects at the 25 districts of the province.

A document available with The News revealed that the amount released by the Finance Department also includes the Rs1.75 billion operational budget under, which every village and neighbourhood council has received Rs0.5 million for office fixture and rent.

The local governments comprise of Peshawar city district government, 24 district councils, 73 tehsil councils and 3501 elected village and neighbourhood councils.

The provincial government after the local bodies elections faced numerous difficulties in the transferring funds to the local government institutions. The same were earlier transferred to the District Development Advisory Committee (DDAC) that also used to execute these funds.

To cope with the anomaly, the provincial government on March 4 simplified the approval and execution of the development projects to facilitate the utilisation of development and non-development funds.

It approved the transfer of funds, both development and operational, to the assistant directors Local Government and Rural Development. The government allowed the village and neighbourhood councils to keep these funds in official account.

These councils were mandated to utilise the funds on project with Rs 2 million limit in the sectors outlined in Local Government Act 2013 and Planning and Development (P&D)’s guidelines. The projects the village and neighbourhood councils are mandated to execute include general cleanliness, transportation, sanitation, drainage and sewerage system at the local level.

These councils would also mandated to execute the projects of development works, including water supply, maintenance and distribution and prevention of contamination of water, maintenance of village infrastructure, pavements, footpaths, tracks, streets, bridges, playgrounds, public open spaces and community centers.

The provincial government has also simplified procedures for identification, approval and execution of the development projects and it allowed the local councils to submit their projects on the simplified PC-I form in Urdu.

However, the projects above Rs 2 million would be forwarded to the director technical in the office of the director general (DG) of the Local Government or any other executing agency at district level for technical sanction.

Under the new simplified arrangement the provincial government has released Rs8.3 billion of the total Rs13.1 billion it allocated for the village and neighborhood councils. The amount includes Rs6.55 billion of the development and Rs1.7 billion of the operational budget.

The village and neighborhood councils in district Abbottabad have received Rs663.500 million.In Bannu district these public bodies have got Rs 476 million, in Battagram Rs267 million, Buner Rs384 million, Charsadda Rs691 million, Chitral Rs 285millon, Dera Ismail Khan Rs642 million, Lower Dir RsRs636 million, Upper Dir Rs412 million, Hangu Rs235 million, Haripur Rs576 million, Karak Rs 290 million, Kohat Rs377.5 million, Kohistan Rs440 million, Lakki Marwat Rs366 million, Malakand Rs328 million, Mansehra Rs734 million, Mardan Rs1.01 billion, Nowshra Rs604 million, Peshawar Rs1.4 billion, Shangla Rs 346 million, Swabi Rs710 million, Swat Rs875 million, Tank Rs205.5 million and Torghar has got Rs136.5 million to utilise in the remaining three months of the current financial year.

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