PTI backtracks on promise not to spend funds through MPAs

Updated Jan 14 2019

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The PTI has, in the past, criticised the PML-N for utilising development funds through its parliamentarians. ─ Photo courtesy PTI
The PTI has, in the past, criticised the PML-N for utilising development funds through its parliamentarians. ─ Photo courtesy PTI

RAWALPINDI: Backtracking from its previous claim of not utilising development funds through lawmakers, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Punjab government is all set to allocate Rs100 million to each of its MPAs.

In this regard, the government has already collected development proposals from the ruling party MPAs.

In the past, the PTI criticised the PML-N for utilising development funds through its parliamentarians. But after coming to power in Punjab, the party sought development proposals from its members of the provincial assembly.

A senior leader of the party told Dawn that the MPAs submitted their development proposals to the government last month but due to the financial crisis the funds were yet to be released.

“PTI’s parliamentary meeting is scheduled to be held in Lahore on Monday to discuss issues pertaining to the ruling party members in their respective districts. The MPAs will ask the provincial government to start development works.”

Punjab govt collects proposals from ruling party lawmakers to carry out development works worth Rs100m each

He said the ruling party members had also decided to raise the issue of bureaucracy as senior officials of the district administrations were not cooperating with them to resolve problems of the citizens.

He said the MPAs also wanted to launch new projects in their areas, especially in those union councils which were neglected during the tenure of the PML-N government.

He said the party also wanted to change the local government system in the province as at present the PML-N has a majority in all the municipal corporations and district councils. Any changes to the local government law could only be made through the provincial assembly but the PTI does not have the required majority in the house.

In this situation, he added, the provincial government had allocated Rs100 million for each ruling party MPA and asked them to submit their development proposals.

“We have submitted the development proposals to the Punjab government which would release the funds soon,” Chaudhry Adnan, PTI MPA from Rawalpindi city, told Dawn.

He said there was a dire need to launch new projects in many areas as the previous government remained busy in executing projects to make commissions.

“The shortage of water and other issues were ignored in the past and being elected representatives of the people it is our duty to inform the government about it,” he said.

The MPA said the PTI lawmakers had presented their proposals to the government which would spend funds on the sectors as pointed out by the MPAs.

When contacted, MPA Umer Tanveer of the PTI said the development funds would be spent by the government and the role of the ruling party MPAs was only to identify problems of the residents.

“The provincial government allocated Rs100 million for each constituency and in this regard we will give a presentation in the parliamentary meeting on Jan 14,” he said.

The government would also resolve problems of the citizens in the cantonment areas as the proposals included water supply schemes.

On the other hand, a senior official of the district administration told Dawn that the previous PML-N government in Punjab made a political move before the general elections by preparing the development plan in 2018 and launching many projects.

“More than 50pc work on the projects had been completed on these development schemes worth over Rs3 billion and the provincial government would not take the risk of stopping work on them. These projects have to be completed before launching new schemes.”

The official said the government was facing problems to start new schemes before completing the ongoing ones.

“It is the basic reason behind the delay in the release of funds for the new projects. But the MPAs are hopeful to arrange funds for development schemes in their areas,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2019