Saaf Dehat programme faces issues due to ‘delayed funding’: report


LAHORE: The Punjab government’s Saaf Dehat (clean villages) Programme has been facing issues due to “over-budgeting” by the local government department and the ban propagated by the Election Commission of Pakistan on funding the ongoing development schemes and projects, reported a local media outlet.

As per the publication, the political wrangling for more and more funds for national and provincial assemblies constituencies and the local government and community development (LG&CD) department’s inability to put forward a “realistic” demand for budget has resulted in uncalled for delay in release of funding for the last quarter of ongoing financial year 2018-19.

The LG&CD department had been seeking a sum of Rs2.3 billion for the last two months of the current fiscal, besides re-appropriating funds from one scheme to another, while the finance department continued telling it that there were only Rs1.57 billion allocated for the purpose. Until the discrepancy was rectified, it was too late.

Since there is no hope for release of funds for the Saaf Dehat programme for now, all the efforts made so far and the one-time cleaning in 3,281 rural union councils at a total cost of over Rs492 million, may go down the drain.