PESHAWAR: In an unprecedented move, the caretaker government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday decided to involve the National Accountability Bureau in the “conception, planning and execution” of development projects in the province.

Chief Minister retired Justice Syed Arshad Hussain Shah directed authorities to send a formal letter to the NAB’s top management

“Not only will this whole exercise ensure transparency in the development works, it will also give confidence to working officers, who won’t feel hesitation and fear regarding the implementation of projects,” the chief minister told a meeting of the KP Urban Mobility Authority’s board of directors at the Chief Minister’s House here.

Provincial minister for science, technology and information technology Dr Najeebullah, administrative secretaries of the relevant government departments, deputy inspector-general of police (traffic), managing director of the KPUMA, chief executive officer of the Trans Peshawar and other BoD members attended the meeting, according to an official statement.

CM insists initiative to ensure transparency, boost confidence of working officers

In the meeting, retired Justice Shah also directed authorities to ensure that all matters related to development projects be kept fair and transparent in all respects from the very beginning so that their implementation is not delayed due to the fear of accountability in future.

“This process will help ensure the completion of development projects within the stipulated time,” he said.

The meeting was informed that the KPUMA’s BoD had approved the proposed committee with terms of reference to recommend non-official members of the board as well as further rationalise the number of board members. The committee will also recommend necessary amendments to the law for that purpose.

The board accorded conditional approval to the proposed budget of the KPUMA for the ongoing fiscal year. It also approved the report of the authority’s financial audit for the fiscal year 2021-22 and allowed its sharing with all stakeholders.

The audit was conducted through an independent chartered accountancy firm.

The meeting also discussed the ongoing development projects and other various matters related to the sustainability of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit project.

The chief minister took notice of the delay in the completion of the BRT’s “commercial plazas” and called a meeting of the Peshawar Development Authority and other relevant departments to examine progress on the project and decide the future course of action to ensure speedy completion of work.

He directed the Trans-Peshawar and other autonomous bodies to pay special attention to their self-reliance and said that all autonomous bodies and institutions would have to ensure efficient and judicious use of available resources for the purpose.

Retired Justice Shah said that the BRT was a project of public welfare, so concrete steps should be taken torun it on a sustainable basis.

He agreed in principle to the proposed advertisement plan and installation of a solar plant at the BRT bus depot and directed authorities to come up with the final action plan for the purpose in the next two weeks.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2023

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