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72 uplift projects dropped KP govt bypasses assembly

June 13, 2012

PESHAWAR, June 12: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has dropped 72 development projects from the outgoing financial year’s annual development programme though the assembly approved them last year at the time of the ADP’s passage.

The number of the provincial government-funded ongoing development projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should be 739 on July 1, 2012 in accordance with the outgoing financial year’s ADP.

However, as per the information tabled before the provincial assembly as part of the budget for financial year 2012-013, the province is going to start the new fiscal with 667 ongoing schemes.

“This might be anomalous, but some development projects are dropped by the provincial government due to technical reasons even though the provincial assembly granted them approval at the start of the fiscal,” a senior development planner told Dawn on Tuesday.

The official said if the line departments got the schemes of ‘bricks and mortars’ approved from the assembly, the same could not get through when it came to passing the PC-Is by the development forum concerned, including Provincial Development Working Party or Departmental Development Working Party.

Another said the provincial government removed the projects to rectify the situation, rightsizing the next financial year’s ADP.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Engineer Hamayun Khan, announcing the provincial government’s budget for the 2012-13 fiscal on June 8, 2012, informed the provincial assembly that the new ADP would include 940 provincially funded development projects, including 667 ongoing and 273 new schemes.

The provincial government has allocated Rs74.2 billion for implementing the 940 projects in the 2012-13 fiscal.

However, under the provincial government’s next financial year’s budget documents (White Paper), the assembly has been informed that the provincially funded component of the ADP for the outgoing financial year included a total of 1035 projects of which 296 would stand completed by June 30, 2012.

This should leave the province to have 739 ongoing development projects on July 1, 2012 and not 667 ongoing projects.

“A number of development projects that were approved by the provincial assembly under the 2011-12 financial year’s ADP were dropped by the government after the departments concerned could not get their concept papers passed at the proper forum when their planning documents (PC-Is) came under scrutiny,” said a senior development planner.

This appears to be anomalous as it reflects that the provincial assembly’s approval was ascertained without determining the viability of the projects.

The senior development planner said that some of the projects had not been ‘repeated’ (included) in the new ADP because the departments had got them included in the outgoing financial year’s ADP without being serious to execute them when the time came to start work on them.

“Some of the projects were approved by the competent authorities, but since work on them could not be launched in the ongoing financial year, therefore, such schemes have not been carried forward to the new ADP,” said the official.

The official admitted that the provincial assembly should have been taken into confidence prior to removing the projects from the outgoing financial year’s ADP.

“As per the rules, we cannot even re-appropriate the development funds from one sector to another or from one development project to another without the provincial assembly’s prior approval, but we have been carrying out this practice since many years as part of our financial management to ensure maximum utilization of development funds,” said the official.

He said among the provincial government’s line departments and their attached entities, the agriculture department, industries department, Sarhad Development Authority, and a couple of other entities were known for coming up with major development initiatives that they could not execute when it came to implementing the projects.

“We, at the Planning and Development Department, made it a point that no such scheme would be repeated in the new ADP that were not executed by the departments concerned in the ongoing financial year despite funds allocation and approval by the competent forums,” said the senior official.

The move, according to an official, had been necessitated to bring down the provincial government throw forward – the time it would take to complete the ADP projects.