KP development projects in a limbo due to shortage of funds

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Home Affairs Department could not initiate work on some of the key projects of its annual development programme due to the unavailability of funds that were supposed to be provided by international agencies.

According to documents of KP Finance Department, the department did not release even a single rupee from the Rs1.414 billion allocated for the four projects of the Home Affairs Department.

The provincial government had allocated Rs82 billion from foreign assistance and loans for development programmes in the budget of financial year 2019-20. For the KP Home Department, Rs1.563 billion were allocated for 13 projects in the annual development programme, in which Rs 1.414 billion were supposed to be provided by international agencies through aid and loans

AAWAZ – Voice and Accountability Program-II, a DFID-assisted project, failed to materialise because the department could not release Rs700 million for it.

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The Finance Department did not release funds for “Strengthening Rule of Law Project” for which the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was supposed to provide Rs258 million but the amount was not released given to the KP government.

Another project, Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT), which was also supported by the UNDP and for which it had pledged Rs456.448 million, did not materialise because no funds were released.

The UNDP was expected to support and provide Rs456.448 million to “Pakistan Action Counter Terrorism with Special Reference to KP” but the project could not be started as the UNDP did not provide the required funds.

Sources told this scribe that the provincial government was facing major project delays due to financial difficulties and the failure of the international agencies to provide the promised funds.

According to KP Finance Department’s documents, out the Rs1.563 billion annual development budget of the KP Interior Department, it was provided just Rs105.875 million from which it spent only Rs14.169 million.

The documents also revealed that the provincial government spent Rs14.194 million out of Rs56.775 million allocated for the annual de-radicalisation emancipation programme in Swat.

On the other hand, the three projects — reformation & skills development facilities for probationers, computerisation of arms licenses, cases management in the directorate of prosecution and its district offices — for which Rs30 million were allocated and were also released by the Finance Department, could not be materialised by the Home Department.

Interior Ministry sources told this scribe that almost 90 per cent of KP’s budget development depends on the federal government and international agencies, who usually do not provide the funds on time, therefore, delaying the projects by years and directly leading to increasing costs.

Repeated attempts were made to contact KP Finance Minister Taimur Salim Jhagra but he was not available.

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