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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government departments utilised 59 per cent of the Rs335.249 billion development and non-development funds released by the finance department in the July-Dec 2018 period.

The Midyear Expenditure Budget Execution Report July to December 2018 released by the finance department here on Friday showed that Rs335.249 billion funds were given away to all departments to meet the current expenditure and development spending in the first six months of the current fiscal.

According to it, the released amount totaled around 54 per cent of the total budget outlay of Rs618 billion, while the government departments utilised around Rs196.23 billion (59 per cent) from it.

Finance dept disbursed Rs335.25bn development and non-development funds from July to Dec 2018

The recurring expenses accounted for over 78 per cent of the released funds, while Rs71.71 billion development funds amounted to 21 per cent of the released sum.

The departments managed to spend Rs40.75 billion of the development funds released in the period, which made up to over 55 per cent of the disbursed development funds.

“The current fiscal manifests improved releases against same period of preceding year,” the document noted, adding that development budget disbursement improved by six per cent while current budget improved by two per cent.

During the July-Dec 2018 period, around 40 per cent of development funds were released compared to 34 per cent disbursed in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

Similarly, the current expenditure releases went up from 58 per cent to 60 per cent during the period.

However, the utilisation of the released development and current disbursement witnessed little variations and largely matched the last year’s pattern.

The document divided the entire edifice of the government into governance, social and growth sectors.

The social sector, which includes education, health, population welfare, zakat, social welfare and public health engineering departments, witnessed the highest increase in fund releases, which went up 18 per cent compared to the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

However, the funds’ utilisation went down by six per cent.

The finance department released around Rs75 billion for the social sector but it spent only Rs33 billion.

It said the health department’s funds utilisation remained consistent, while the elementary and secondary education department’s spending dropped by 24 per cent against 19 per cent increase in funds’ release.

Likewise, the relief and rehabilitation department’s fund utilisation dropped by 38 per cent despite 23 per cent improved releases.

In governance sector, including finance, home, revenue, planning and development and provincial assembly, utilised Rs140 billion out of Rs211 billion during the period.

It said the finance department achieved highest utilisation improvement of nine per cent, while local government department utilisation enhanced by 18 per cent despite 10 per cent drop in releases while P&D department utilisation dropped by 25 per cent and establishment department also witnessed 33 per cent reduction in utilisation.

In growth sector including agriculture, industries, irrigation, mines, energy and power, communication and works, minerals, labour and transport departments managed to spend Rs22 billion from the releases of Rs48 billion and the sector witnessed lowest funds utilisation ratio of 12 per cent.

The energy and power and mines and minerals departments’ fund utilisation dropped by nine per cent despite enhanced releases.

The document showed that the elementary and secondary education department spent Rs3 billion out of the Rs11 billion released during the period, health department Rs18 billion from Rs36 billion, higher education department Rs5.9 billion from Rs15.49 billion, communication and works department Rs7.9 billion from Rs12.29 billion, environment department Rs2.7 billion from Rs6.98 billion, agriculture department Rs2 billion from Rs4.5 billion, industries department Rs1.6 billion from Rs3.4 billion and local government department Rs3.8 billion from Rs5.1 billion.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2019