ISLAMABAD: The government has completed the survey of damage caused to the houses of internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) because of fighting there. The affected people will be compensated according to the extent of damage.

According to the government decision, those IDPs whose houses have been destroyed will be provided Rs400,000 and the owners of damaged houses will get Rs110,000.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Senate functional committee on less developed areas on Monday.

The committee was informed that an amount of Rs19.9 billion had already been paid to affected people and about 80 per cent IDPs had returned to their homes.

Chairman of the committee Senator Mohammad Usman Khan Kakar presided over the meeting.

Mr Kakar said that developing backward areas was the constitutional responsibility of the government, adding that it was continuously violated. Less developed areas of the country were deliberately kept deprived of facilities, he said.

The chairman of the committee said inadequate funds were earmarked for the backward areas of Balochistan and Fata in schemes included in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). Not only this, the release of these funds is also delayed as a result of which the cost of projects increased several times. Some unapproved projects were included in these schemes which put a further burden on the finances, he added.

Citing an example, Senator Kakar said that a paltry amount had been kept for the construction of 100 small dams in Balochistan. It is not possible to build these dams with the allocated funds. The same is the case with development projects of tribal areas.

In response to the criticism, Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood said that the federal government could not do anything in some sectors. Executing small projects in provinces is the responsibility of provincial governments. The federal government is responsible only for providing funds for developing infrastructure of schemes related to water and power, etc.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2016

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