OAF concerns over allocating less funds for Southern areas

June 22, 2015 Off By Web Desk

Peshawar: Woman representative of Omar Asghar Khan Foundation (OAF) has expressed her concern over allocating less funds for Southern areas as compared to Nowshera, Swabi and Upper Dir in the budget for 2015-16.

“This is traditional politics that developmental funds are allocated either on revenge or priority basis, to which areas, the powerful leaders belong, more funds would be bestowed,” Rashida Dohat, the representative showed her grievances on this type allocation during a news conference here at Press Clubon Tuesday.

Commenting on allocated funds for Nowshera, she said that about 3.08 as per Annual Development Programme (ADP) in rupees Rs5.3billion had been allocated for the District of Chief Minister Pervez Khan Khattak while in the previous government’s last budget 2012-13, the district was bestowed with fund of Rs1.5billion. “On which formula and a big change, such an extraordinary increase in the development fund was made for Nowshera”, she questioned.

District Swabi were bestowed with fruitful fund of Rs 2.6billion through the budget 2015-16 because of powerful slots from the district including Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly and a Senior Minister Shehram Tarakai and Dir Upper was allocated fund Rs1.3billion. Similarly, wherein the three said powerful districts were Rs10.6billion were allocated while the seven poorest districts of the province including Banu, D I Khan, Hangu, Karak, Tank, Kohat and Laki Marvat were allocated funds only Rs 5.5billion, which is obviously injustice.

She said that the KP’s local government law stipulated allocating ‘not less than 30 percent of total development funds’ to LG. An analysis of KP’s budget for 2015-16, showed an allocation of Rs18. 26billion for oingoing and new programmes under LG. Another Rs30.27 billion provided under district APD combined these allocations fall just short of the stipulated 30 percent.

The sum of Rs18.26 billion under LG is 10.44 percent of the total development outlay of Rs 174.88billion. One-third of this amount or Rs6.1 billion is already allocated to six of the 25 districts of the province for specified purpose. Much of the remaining amount of Rs 12.1billion includes block allocations for pre-determined priorities like ‘provision of LED/solar road lights’ construction of slaughter houses, establishment of bachat bazars etc. Such allocations will disempower local government to use funds for priorities they set, she informed about budget.

The allocation of Rs30.27 billion, which accounts for 17.31 percent of the local development funds is unrestricted for use as determined by the newly created local councils at the village, Neighbourhood, Tehsil, and District level, even though unrestricted the total available funds from the divisible pool for each district, thesil and viilage/neighbourhood council; will depend on decision to be made by the Provincial Finanace Commission.

She, therefore, demanded of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to bring a meeting of members of 25 districts prior to PFC approval to analyses the requirement of funds in any needed district so that the funds allocated for development and elimination of poverty could enable the people of the area to eradicate their backwardness, promotion of education and good health.