KP district govts spend Rs30b out of Rs42b budget allocation

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The district governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have only utilised Rs30 billion out of the total Rs 42 billion they had been allocated for development programmes.

A press release issued by the provincial government stated that the remaining Rs 12 billion was for developments schemes which are still ongoing.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa successfully held local government elections which led to a strong democratic structure at the grassroots level with strength of over 44,000 representatives. The Section 53 (a) of the Local Government Act, 2013 envisages that the development grant for the local governments should not be less than 30 per cent of the total development budget of the province.

Nevertheless, the provincial government is struggling to realise its 2015-16 budget estimates revenue and has to cut down its development budget.

According to an analysis by the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA), Rs 15.13 billion have been released under the District ADP out of the total Rs 30 billion allocated budget for districts.

The village and neighborhood councils have received Rs 6.5 billion out of Rs 13.1 billion allocation; tehsils/town councils have received Rs 4.2 billion out of Rs 8.5 billion, while district councils have received Rs 4.3 billion out of Rs 8.5 billion allocation.

The funds were distributed under the provincial finance commission formula which allocates 60 per cent for population, 20 per cent for backwardness and 20 per cent for lag in infrastructure. The provision to districts under the ADP scheme No PS15000373 estimated the budget at Rs 8.5 billion but only Rs 4.3 billion was received.

According to PFC, Kohistan which is the most backward district excluding Torghar in Khyber Pahktukhwa secured 1.97 per cent out of total 20 per cent under backwardness followed by Shangla which received 1.26 per cent of the total allocation.

On the other hand, Peshawar secured 6.83 per cent out of 60 per cent due to the population followed by Mardan which secured 4.93 per cent and Swat received 4.25 per cent. Similarly Peshawar secured 2.1 per cent under lag in infrastructure out of 20 per cent followed by Mardan and Swat securing 1.23 per cent each.

The overall distribution among the three tiers of local government ie VCs/NCs, tehsils and districts in terms of funds per district remained as: Peshawar Rs1,516 million, Mardan Rs1,089 million, Swat Rs964 million, Mansehra Rs795 million, Swabi Rs792 million, Charsadda Rs786 million, DI Khan Rs716 million, Abbottabad Rs710 million, Nowshera Rs684 million, Dir Lower Rs649 million, Kohat Rs598 million, Haripur Rs596 million, Bannu Rs565 million, Dir Upper Rs526 million, Buner Rs459 million, Lakki Marwat Rs458 million, Shangla Rs455 million, Kohistan Rs440 million, Malakand Rs392 million, Karak Rs386 million, Battagram Rs345 million, Chitral Rs339 million, Hangu Rs315 million, Tank Rs291 million and Torghar Rs263 million.

According to CGPA Programme Manager Malik Masood, the district ADP has been reduced owing to the provincial revenue shortfall, however the revised allocations are yet to be determined.

He demanded the provincial government realistically estimate revenue estimates ahead of the 2016-17 budget as it has been facing shortages in its own provincial estimated revenues in the 2015-16 budget, beside the shortages in receipts from the federal consolidated funds.

He also urged the provincial government not to cut down the district ADP as it will discourage the local governments, and demanded the government improve its timely utilisation capacity of development funds.