Marwat chairs meeting

Peshawar: A progress review meeting about the development schemes reflected in the ADP 201213, in respect of drinking water supply and sanitation sector of Hazara Division, was held in the PHE Office Abbottabad. The Minister for Energy & Power, Irrigation and Public Health Engineering, Muhammad Younis Marwat chaired the meeting.

The Secretary PHED, Chief Engineer North PHED, Director P&M, Superintending Engineer PHE Circle Abbottabad, Executive Engineers PHE Division Abbottabad, Mansehra, Haripur, Tor Ghar, Battagram and Kohistan attended the meeting.

The overall progress of various development schemes, which are due for completion during current financial year 201213, and ongoing schemes were discussed in detail. Chair emphasized the participants to follow the rules, regulations and discipline for improving service delivery with optimum outputs. The chair specifically directed that the quality of works should be the prime importance and it should not be compromised at any cost.

The Minister further directed that technically feasible and financially viable, need based, watersupply and sanitation schemes should be identified for inclusion in ADP 201314. On the request of department in order to control quality of pipe materials, Minister directed to process the case for purpose of pipes from manufacturer for reconsideration.

Similarly for early energization of water supply schemes it was directed to process the case for purchase of electric appliances like electric transformers and allied accessories directly from WAPDA enlisted contractors and obtaining NOC from WAPDA. Regarding shortage of staff it was decided to agitate the issue with Public Service Commission for early finalization for recruitment of Assistant Engineers and Sub Engineers. Similarly it was also decided to take appropriate measures to resolve the issue of office accommodations/residences.

Discussants identify bottlenecks in way of access to budget documents and financial information in absence of RTI Act April: Discussants at a seminar have identified the major bottlenecks in way of access to budget documents and disclosing financial information, called for enactment of Right of Information RTI Act in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

They said that the implementation of the Right to Information RTI Act remains a far cry from reality. They stressed that the implementation of RTI is eminent to bring transparency in the present governance. There was obligatory for development of a culture of openness, which could only possible by enactment of RTI.

The seminar titled: Comparative budget analysis of TownIII Peshawar organised by Centre for Governance and Public Accountability GCPA, a nongovermental organisation here at a local hotel.

Notable speakers were included a searcher official of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Planing and Development Department, Shah Mehmood, Executive Coordinator GCPA Azra Nafees, Program Coordinator Abid Hussain, members of civil society organisation, relevant partners, and representatives from media organizations.

CGPA Executive Coordinator Azra Nafees Yousafzai, while speaking on the occasion stressed the need for involvement of general public in budget making process as major concerns common citizen. She said that her organisation has recently conducted a study on Town III Peshawar budget.

“We had faced enormous difficulties to attain the budget books and other relevant financial information of this town allocated for 2011201213, Ms Yousafzai said.

She informed that officials had declined to availability of budget documents and abstaining from giving financial information, despite the perquisite under the Article 19A, to have each and everyone to access to information.

Abid Hussain while referring a study conducted by the organisation on budget of TownIII, informed that the town administration had allocated a hefty of amount for recurring budget with marginal size of development expenditure in the last fiscal year. He furthermore said that the inhouse expenditures had steadily grown over the years and in fiscal year 201213, salaries estimated to around Rs293.8 million while development expenditure stood at Rs35.93 million.

He explained that the study shown that the town administration employees strengthen had also increased at 1,444 from 987 to during last three years. Though, he said amount of Rs78.6 million had allocated as contingency budget, while the budget books are lacking information in this regard.

Mr Hussain said the trend shows that the town administration’s own expenditures eats up most of the TownIII budget, which.

Shah Mehmood while giving his input on the townIII budget said the officials are the main hurdles in attaining of budget documents and financial information. Sometime, officials reluctant to share ordinary letter or circular, he added.

For countering to disclosing financial information and sharing budget document, Mr Mehmood said officials had strongly resisted for computerization of revenue data. It was essential to have access to information, to exercise power and right, he stressed.