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March 14, 2018

Municipal corporation claims about funds shortage refuted


March 14, 2018

Rawalpindi: The claims of Municipal Corporation (MC) Rawalpindi that it lacks funds to meet current expenditure and payment of pensions as well as salaries to its staff has completely proved false because the Finance Department Government of Punjab releases PFC share to this civic body on monthly basis for these purposes.

The evidence of funds allocation to MC has been brought into the notice of Mayor Sardar Nasim by Shahid Nasir Raja, Secretary, Local Government and Community development (LG&CD) Department through a letter the copies of it have been sent to Commissioner, Rawalpindi Division besides all District Officers of Municipal Corporation Rawalpindi.

In the letter, Shahid Nasir Raja stated that he after visiting MC Rawalpindi along with Director General (I&M) on March 6, 2018 observed that the staff and pensioners of this civic body were agitating on account of non-payment of their salaries and pension dues and Rs129.500 million are payable under these heads.

However, in the letter the secretary LG&CD has informed the Mayor Rawalpindi that finance department of Punjab government is releasing PFC share to the MC, Rawalpindi on monthly basis to meet current expenditure and payment of pension and salaries without any interruption/delay. Moreover, he also clarified that revenue and UIP TAX share collected by the civic body are over and above to meet these expenses.

According to the letter, the finance department of Punjab allocates non-development share to MC on monthly basis up to the tune of Rs24.482 million, development share Rs6.801 million and Transition Grant of Rs0.517 million.

As per Clause 153 (4&5) Chapter XX of PLGA 2013, it is the prime responsibility of a local government is to clear dues against salaries and pensions rather than utilising them against other budgetary provision. In view thereof, the secretary has directed to make payment of all pending liabilities against salaries and pensions from the available funds to mitigate the concerns of the pensioners/Local Government Employees to avoid serious legal and statutory implications

The budget of MC Rawalpindi 2017-18 reflects lump sum allocation which is against the spirit of Punjab Local Governments (Budget) Rules, 2017. The development budget should be specific for identified scope and location of each union council envisaged to be executed. It was noticed that the said lump sum budgetary provision could not be spent despite lapse of nine months. In the letter, the secretary LG&CD has directed mayor to divert these funds towards clearance of pension liabilities of MC Rawalpindi.

Moreover, Shahid Nasir Raja has directed the mayor for evolving a mechanism to ensure recovery of revenue collection on monthly basis and responsibility be fixed against the negligent officers for non-recovery of arrears. The situation calls for strict monitoring and efficient recovery/collection of revenue for proper running of MC Rawalpindi.

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