PESHAWAR, March 15: Hundreds of government schools in Peshawar have been denied millions of funds for two years over bureaucratic procedures, it is learnt.
Every year, the government allocates money for minor repairs and classroom consumable items at its schools in the province. The funding is used through parent-teacher councils in their respective schools.
However, Rs59.42 million PTC fund sanctioned by the government for 1,410 government schools in Peshawar for 2011-12 wasn’t released over the certain observations of the accountant general office, according to sources in the district education office.
The sources said the budget 2012-13 had the said money but it was never released.
An official said legally speaking, the current year’s PTC fund should be around Rs120 million after the addition of the previous year’s allocations.
He said the sanctioned PTC fund for 2011-12 couldn’t be released as correspondence between the AG office and district education office continued until the end of the financial year.
The official said another fiscal year was about to end but the schools had yet to get the funds.
He said the PTC fund had to be utilised on minor repairs, electrification, repair of electric appliances, water supply, whitewash, classroom consumable items, including stationary, chalk, blackboard etc.
When contacted, Deputy Accountant General Aminullah Khan said the sanctioned fund would be released to the district education office, Peshawar once it fulfilled the certain formalities.
He said the first formality was that income tax would be deducted from the sanctioned amount at the prescribed rate under the customs law, while the second was that the education department was bound to furnish the previous budget utilisation certificate to the accountant general office.
Mr Aminullah added that as for the third formality, advanced payment sanction of the finance department might be obtained and furnished with the claim, while the fourth and final formality was to show the fund utilisation certificate along with production of vouchers accounts for post-audit.
However, a senior official in the district education office said all formalities of the AG office could be met except the advance payment sanction from the finance department because it was not in practice.
“We can provide the utilisation certificate of the previous PTC fund and ready for deduction of the income tax at the prescribe rate,” he said.
He expressed ignorance when asked why the AG office was not releasing the fund if his office could fulfill formalities.
“It is an injustice to the students studying in government schools,” he said.
When contacted, District Education Officer, Peshawar Sharif Gul said it would be difficult to use the PTC fund of two years if it was not released immediately.
He said he had brought the matter to the notice of the education department bosses.
A government high school’s principal declared the PTC fund vital for the smooth functioning of educational institutions. He said when electric fan developed faults or water pipes got damaged, then it was the fund that was used for the repairs.
“Students are the ultimate sufferers of denial of funds,” he said.
The principal said the government provided Rs7,465 per classroom annually to schools.