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RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has asked ward members to submit their development schemes for approval.

A senior official of the RCB told Dawn that the development work would be started after the monsoon season and in this regard the ward members had been asked to submit the schemes for presentation at the board meeting.

He said mostly the ward members wanted to launch water supply projects in their respected areas as the residents had been complaining about water shortage.

He said each ward would receive Rs10 million in the first phase which was not enough to improve the local infrastructure. He said there was a shortage of funds with the civic body as the board’s tax recovery rate was very low.

Work to start at the end of monsoon season after projects are approved by RCB, official says

During the fiscal year 2017-18, he said, the RCB brought 1,372 residential and 680 commercial units under the tax net. The total tax collection from residential units stood at Rs150 million against the target of Rs250 million.

The cantonment boards are working under the federal government and mainly rely on funding from Islamabad. They generate revenues from various taxes on civilian population and traders whereas government and retired army officers are exempted from all taxes.

The official said the RCB had received recommendations to introduce job cuts in its budget proposals to minimise expenditures. Last year, the services of some contractual employees were terminated and lists of more such employees had been prepared, he added.

An elected member of the RCB requesting not to be named said the civic agency had failed to purchase land for the establishment of a landfill site and a graveyard due to the absence of funds. He said the RCB was paying rent of the private land used as a landfill site which was a burden on its annual expenditures.

“The present landfill site is away from cantonment areas and transportation of waste to the site consumes more fuel.”

He said the RCB should select a site near the cantonment areas to save the transportation charges.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2018