Lack of funds a problem for LWMC ahead of Eidul Azha


–Citywide cleanliness drive, arrangements for cattle markets during Eid days to require substantial procurement

LAHORE: The management of Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) is feared to face a problem in conducting its Eidul Azha operations due to the lack of funds, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The LWMC with its two contractors, Al-Bayrak and Ozpak, is responsible to keep the city clean while this responsibility increases manifold during the Eid holidays. However, this year, the company is likely to face a score of problems as it has been running out of the required funds.

Sources in LWMC privy to the development informed that the company required at least Rs1 billion to conduct the Eidul Azha cleaning operation. “This huge amount has to be spent for the procurement of different gadgets, material and payments of vendors,” they said adding that the company had been also gone into debt as it has to return millions of rupees to its contractors.

“For the last fiscal year, a budget of Rs 13 billion was approved for the LWMC out of which 10 Rs 10 billion had to be allocated by Punjab Finance Department while remaining had to be paid by Municipal Corporation Lahore (MCL),” said the sources adding that the MCL had released all the funds.

They informed that according to procedure all the payable amount was released in quarterly installments but previous government in Punjab could not release its last installment of rupees 1.93 billion which it had to be paid on April 1. “According to the procedure, LWMC pays a huge amount to its contractors while rest of amount is to be paid at the end of quarter,” they said and added that despite after completing the last quarter which ended on June 30, LWMC could not receive its due payment while another month (July) had been passed.

Interestingly, they informed that Finance Department had released Rs 1.9 billion which it had released at first quarter of the year that July 1 to September 30 but it did not pay its pending Rs 1.93 billion from the last quarter.

“This will create a lot of problems for LWMC as a major portion of the released amount will go in debts and contractors’ payments. This will also hamper the reputation of LWMC because many vendors have given an ultimatum to halt all operations with the company,” sources said, adding that for Eid operations besides setting arrangements for cattle markets, LWMC has to establish at least 18 model camps while it has to arrange 2.1 million waste bags.

An official seeking anonymity confirmed that the delay in releasing budget has been caused many problems for the company as the amount which had to be issued on April 1st could not be paid to company. He said that the MCL also had not paid the payment of its first quarter which is also around one billion rupees. “We are in conversation with the Deputy Commissioner over the issues who have assured us for releasing of payment within current week,” said the officer.

LWMC Chief Finance Officer Mansoor told Pakistan Today that the Finance Department has released Rs 1.9 billion in funds which will be transferred in the LWMC’s account within a couple days. He said that a negotiation was taking place for the release of pending Rs 1.93 billion. “Before the commencement of Eid operations, LWMC will be able to arrange the funds,” Mansoor added.

It is pertinent to mention here that during last week, the two contractors of the company had halted their operations in many parts owing to the non-payment of funds. However, they resumed work after the assurance of payments within a week