RAWALPINDI: Due to financial constraints, the Punjab government has decided not to launch any new development project in the province in the fiscal year 2021-22 ending on June 30.

The decision will postpone the tendering process for the Kutchery Chowk project in Rawalpindi worth Rs4.8 billion.

Sources told Dawn that the provincial government had asked the district administrations and civic bodies to complete all ongoing schemes within the stipulated timeframe.

They said a month before its dismissal, the previous government had allocated funds to launch new development projects, however, this has made it difficult for the incumbent setup to manage the financial issues.

Tendering process for Rs4.8bn Kutchery Chowk project put on hold, official says

The sources said usually in the last month of every fiscal year, civic bodies and the district administrations utilised funds to avoid their lapse. But the incumbent government wants to save the funds to give relief to the citizens facing rising inflation.

The government has informed the district administrations and civic bodies not to issue any work order or start the tendering process in May and June. The decision has been conveyed to all the 36 districts in the province.

A senior official of the district government told Dawn: “The government wants to pay its attention to inflation, which was why it has decided against starting any new project, at least till the start of the new fiscal year.”

He said in the last three years, the PTI government did not launch any mega project in the garrison city. However, work on Rawalpindi Ring Road was started in March while approval to launch the Kutchery Chowk project was given.

“At present, the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has stopped work on Kutchery Chowk project and tendering process would be initiated in the next fiscal year,” the official said.

According to the official, work on Rawal Expressway and Flood Channel would also be launched in the next fiscal year, adding that the RDA would submit these three projects to the provincial government so that it would include them in the annual development programme (ADP) for allocation of funds in the next fiscal year.

Basically, the official added, the previous government was slow and wanted to start work on the mega projects in the next fiscal year before the general elections. He said the previous government also faced financial constraints and wanted to involve private investors but no one was ready to invest in the Rawal expressway and other projects.

“Yes, we are working to start Kutchery Chowk and other projects. But they are likely to be launched in the next fiscal year,” said RDA spokesman Mohammad Irfan.

He said construction of a two-storey flyover at Kutchery Chowk would begin in the next fiscal year after which work on the Defence Chowk project would also be initiated.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2022

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