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LG reduces Peshawar’s uplift funds by Rs126 million

While unveiling the Rs10 billion next budget for Peshawar, the local government on Wednesday announced the Rs126.42 million reduction in the city’s development outlay for 2017-18.

District nazim Mohammad Asim Khan announced the budget during a session of the city council here, where some PTI councillors tried to disrupt the nazim’s budget speech over the alleged discrimination against them in the execution of development schemes. Naib nazim Syed Qasim Ali Shah chaired the session.

The budget documents showed that of the total budget, Rs8.09 billion were allocated for the payment of salary to employees of devolved departments placed under the city district government, while Rs0.44 billion was non-salary budget.

Nazim unveils Rs10bn budget amid councillors’ protest over ‘discrimination’ in schemes

The government allocated Rs686.93 million for the annual development programme of the district. The amount is Rs126.42 million less than the last year’s development outlay.

The development budget for the year 2016-17 was Rs813.35 million.

The receipts estimates showed that the district government would receive Rs9.22 billion from the provincial government as its share in the Provincial Finance Commission Award.

The provincial government will give Rs167 million grant to the district government, while the latter also hopes to generate Rs618 million from its own resources.

The budget documents showed huge ‘underspending’ of the last year’s development programme funds as only small portion (Rs275.72 million) of Rs813.35 million was utilised.

A staggering portion of development to the tune of Rs537.62 million of development funds remained unutilised.

The current development portfolio of Rs686.93 million showed that Rs340.5 million would be utilised for development schemes in 92 wards of the city, Rs137 million on education and Rs103 million on agriculture, women development and youths and sports.

In addition, Rs40 million has been earmarked for the removal of encroachments and rehabilitation drives in the capital and Rs15 million for provision of electric water coolers for mosques.

The local government allocated just Rs11 million for the health sector. An amount of Rs30 million was doled out for the procurement of garbage bins in the city.

In the budget speech, the nazim said he had made all possible efforts for the development of each ward of the city keeping in view the available resources.

He urged councillors to support him for the development and beautification of the capital.

Some PTI councillors, including Noor Wali Khan of Tehkal, Rehman Afzal of Bhana Mari, Amjad Khan of Landi Arbab and others, shouted slogans all through the nazim’s speech.

They tore apart the budget documents and flung them up in the air.

Noor Wali alleged that most of the previous ADP funds had been utilised in the village of the nazim.

He added that the previous development programme was not meant for the entire Peshawar district and instead, it was used in Bahadar Kalay, the village of the nazim.

“The district nazim has refused to give me information regarding the development schemes under the Right to Information Act, 2014. Now, the Right to Information Commission has summoned him to appear before it for the denial of information to me,” he said.

The chair later adjourned the session until today (Thursday).

Ashfaq, Muhammad. LG reduces Peshawar’s uplift funds by Rs126 million. Dawn, July 20, 2017.

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