Like the past several Fiscal Years, the sluggish pace of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in developmental sector also continued in the current FY-2020-21 as it has once again failed to utilise the 90 percent of funds under the District Annual Development Program (ADP).
According to the official documents recently released by the Finance Department out of a total allocated fund of Rs44.57 billion, only Rs4.69 billion was actually spent.
Those privy to the entire development said that the Finance Department only released Rs4.97 billion of which Rs4.69 billion were utilised.
The failure of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government to utilise even 90 percent of its developmental budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 has once again put a question mark on the tall claims and promises of the provincial government regarding developments in the province.
Many political and economical experts believe that the best way to the affective utilization of developmental funds was the Local Government as the local councillors are the representatives of each village and they reach to every single street of their village or council.
Guhar Mehsud a senior journalist while commenting on the matter said that the non-utilization of developmental funds by any government certainly affected the common people of Pakistan.
He said that those in power allocate billions in term of ADP, but they badly failed when it comes to the utilization in the right places. He added that the KP government relied on the district administration in term of utilising the funds which was a wrong decision; saying that such huge funds can only be affectively utilised by the complete set up of LG.
While talking to Voice of KP, Fawad Yousafzai a senior journalist who is covering the finance sector said that un-utilization of ADP by the KP government was not new. He said that there were several reasons behind this unending and serious issue of the non-utilization of funds.
Fawad Yousafzai said that many blamed bureaucracy for the non-utilization of funds which was a wrong perception. Explaining the right reason he said that the absence of the Local Government in KP was the top reason behind this issue.
Meanwhile, Imran Kundi a senior journalist who is covering the developmental sectors for the last 8 years said that the Ministries always failed to release the funds for the developmental sectors and this is the reason that due to the un-utilization of funds the pace of the development in the province will always be sluggish.
He said that this thread of un-utilization of budget in billions allocated for developmental sectors will never stop until and unless the LG setup is established in the province.
If we go through the history of non-utilization of ADP funds by the KP government so it must be noted that in the budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20, the KP government had allocated Rs 319 billion for development projects in the province; including Rs237 billion for settled districts and over Rs 81 billion for newly formed tribal districts. However, Rs 65 billion out of Rs 237 billion had been utilized in the settled districts and a small ratio of Rs 6 billion was utilized in the tribal districts as compared to the total budget allocated for the developmental projects of Rs 81 billion for the newly formed districts.
Data of previous tenures available shows that the first PTI provincial government in 2013-14 had allocated Rs 83 billion for the developmental works out of which only Rs 66 billion leaving a fund of Rs 9 billion unspent.
The allocations in 2014-15 were Rs 100 billion, out of this, a total of Rs 90 billion were utilised. Same like in the fiscal year 2015-16, allocations were increased 13 per cent to Rs 113 billion and the provincial government ended up releasing only Rs 108 billion, out of which, Rs 101 billion were utilised.
For Year 2016-17 a total of Rs 125 billion were allocated with addition of 11 per cent more from previous fiscal year out of which Rs 119 billion were utilised and the remaining were unspent.
In 2017-18 FY, the K-P government increased the allocation by 1 percent and allocated Rs 126 billion out of which the provincial government released only Rs 114 billion and the remaining nine billion rupees went un-utilised.
It was FY 2018-19 when the allocations were sliced by 14 per cent to Rs 108.9 billion. Out of which Rs 76.1 billion were spent while Rs 19.5 billion went unspent.