PESHAWAR, Feb 24: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s line departments performed poorly during the first half of the current financial year as they spent 29.8 per cent of the Annual Development Programme, officials told Dawn on Sunday.
The provincial government’s total development expenditure in the first six months of the financial year 2012-13 stood at slightly over Rs29 billion out of a total annual development outlay of over Rs97.4 billion, according to a set of official documents available with Dawn.
“Improvement in the development funds’ utilisation pattern could only be achieved by making major changes in the system as during the first four five months the government departments pay least attention to the ADP implementation,” said a senior development officer.
The departments failed to ensure fast execution of development funds despite the fact that they were made available almost 50 per cent of the ADP funds in the first two quarters of the fiscal with instructions to make a quick use of the money.
However, they failed to break from their lethargic past and spent 60.7 per cent of the Rs47.8 billion cumulatively released to them during the first six months of the ongoing fiscal.
In the recently conducted mid-term review of the current fiscal year’s provincial Annual Development Programme, the government found that the district development component and the foreign funded projects were in pretty bad shape.
According to the official documents, the district based development entities spent only 3.9 per cent of their cumulative Rs1.67 billion annual development plan. They jointly utilised only Rs64.5 million of the Rs658 million released to them during the first six months of the fiscal, making mockery of the official business.
Similarly, the provincial government put up a bad show in its foreign funded component of the ADP which appears to be a major fault line of the development outlay. The size of the foreign funded component of the ADP comes to Rs23.25 billion. Against this amount, the government could muster only Rs2 billion during the first half of the fiscal, leaving it set to end up with a fiasco at the end of the year. Total expenditure on foreign funded projects stood at Rs2.33 billion as some of the projects begun the current fiscal with a sizeable amount of funds that they carried forward from the last fiscal year’s budget. The money spent makes only 10 per cent of the total size of the foreign funded component of the ADP.
Almost all of the line departments with foreign funded development portfolio recorded poor performance, according to the official documents. The provincial health department has chalked out a foreign funded component of Rs2.4 billion for the current fiscal against which it spent Rs582 million in first six months of the fiscal. An amount of Rs250 million this amount was released to it in the current fiscal and the remaining money was actually carried forward from the last financial year’s accounts.
The elementary and secondary education department has a foreign funded development expenditure plan of Rs9.97 billion for the current fiscal of which it could spend only Rs343 million, leaving the government in awe and shock. Similarly, the government had anticipated a total expenditure of Rs1.2 billion on the foreign funded projects under its regional development portfolio against which the actual expenditure stood at Rs86 million.
The government also recorded a massive gap in its foreign funded road sector projects by recording a total expenditure of Rs645 million against an annual expenditure plan of Rs4.93 billion. There are, at least, five sectors for which the government ended up with zero releases under its foreign funded component of the ADP in the first half of the fiscal. These sectors include forestry, industries, social welfare, law and justice, and home department.
The total money for these sectors comes to Rs1.9 billion. The provincial home department and industries department, however, spent Rs93 million and Rs37 million, respectively, on their foreign funded projects out of the funds they carried forward from the previous financial year.
According to the documents, the government’s progress on its locally funded Rs74 billion component of the current ADP did not come up to be satisfactory either.
It found following the mid-term review that the line departments spent Rs26.7 billion during the first six months, making 36 per cent of the total annual allocations made for the provincially funded ADP.
The departments were released over Rs45.8 billion of which they could spend only 58 per cent, leaving them with a major job at hand to implement the ADP of the outgoing provincial government.
However, this seems to be a distant reality as, according to an official, the line departments were likely to end up with a huge unspent development funds at the end of the current fiscal because of the election commission of Pakistan’s restriction on diversion of funds.