PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has slashed the developmental budget by 50 per cent for the ongoing financial year due to the coronavirus-induced financial crisis.
Sources told Pakistan Today that due to the failure of the federal government to disburse net hydel profit, state transfers and other funds to provincial government, the province has reduced its uplift budget by 50 per cent.
They said that due to low revenue generation, 90 per cent budget of the province depends on funds from the federal government in the form of net hydel profit and others. Since the central government is not in a position to releases funds to the province, the KP government is facing difficulties in releasing funds for the ongoing uplift projects and departments are also facing difficulties in preparing the budget for the next financial year, they added.
According to sources in the Planning and Development Department, the provincial government had allocated Rs108 billion from its own resources under the annual development programme for all departments across the province, of which more than Rs91 billion had been released and more than Rs52 billion had been utilised by the departments.
However, keeping in view the needs of the Health, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Department, the funds of all other departments have been slashed by more than 50 per cent, which has created problems for the departments in the implementation of Asian Development Bank’s (ADP) projects.
Sources said that departments have to pay the contractors for the ongoing projects and beneficiaries under a number of relief packages have to be paid as well. The administrative departments have sent all the bills to the AG Office for making payments to the contractors and clearing other bills but no positive steps have been taken so far to clear bills, they added.
They further said that work orders have also been issued for a number of projects, but their budget has now been taken back from all the departments by the provincial government.
Sources said that administrative departments expressed concerns over the deduction procedure, saying that the deduction has been made in such a way that their ongoing projects were left incomplete and now not a single project can be continued by any department.
They said that due to cuts in this year’s development programme, the departments are also facing severe difficulties in formulating next year’s annual development programme. The departments have not yet been able to clarify the extent to which their projects will be implemented this year, they added.