PAT releases economic review report on Punjab government’s performance in FY 2014-15

PAT releases economic review report on Punjab government’s performance in FY 2014-15

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has issued an economic review report on the performance of the Punjab government during the fiscal year 2014-15. The report said that except Rawalpindi metro bus project, the Punjab government failed to complete even a single project in the course of one year. None of the projects such as education, health, clean drinking water, provision of affordable justice, construction 200 small dams, 500 MW power project, Aashayana and Danish school could be completed despite passage of five years.

The PAT economic review report revealed that the Punjab government could utilize only Rs. 137 billion out of Rs. 345 billion development budget, which is just 40% of the total budget. This lowest ever use of the development budget is incompetence and bad governance of the Punjab government.

PAT President Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi released this economic review report in the meeting of the executive committee here at the party’s central secretariat. Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Basharat Jaspal, Mushtaq Nonari Advocate and Noorullah Siddiqui attended the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Raheeq Abbasi said that the budget of important departments such as higher education, population welfare, health and water supply was transferred to buildings and road sector. He said that the ratio of budget utilization of road and building projects, higher education, health, irrigation, and population welfare remained 87%, 28%, 39%, 1.5% and 5.5% respectively. He said that what is even more unfortunate is that the Punjab government allocated Rs. 17 billion for provision of clean drinking water in the fiscal budget but by May 2015, only Rs. 8 billion could be spent. The fact remains that majority of the people suffer from various water-borne diseases. He said that a power project of 500 MW capacity, Aashiyana housing scheme, health insurance and Danish school projects have been incomplete for last five years.

Dr Abbasi said that this also deserves an explanation that the Punjab government allocated Rs. 22 billion for power projects but could utilize 5.5% of this budget by the end of May 2015 and 22% of Rs. 2 billion in respect of youth and sports projects could be used. He said that this low rate of budget utilization is enough to expose the reality of claims for youth development and promotion of sports. Of all the allocations made for various departments, the lowest utilization was made of women development budget, an act which should be held accountable. He said that the Punjab government allocated Rs. 421 million out of which only Rs. 50 million were utilized. The government only raised hollow claims of women development.

Giving further details, Dr Raheeq Abbasi said that out of Rs. 190 million for environment, only Rs. 16 million was used. In the same way, the Punjab government announced to spend Rs. 541 million for labour and human resources but spent only Rs. 42 million, which is merely 7.8% of the total budget. He said that Rs. 7.15 billion were allocated were for development of the backward area of Cholistan but the government spent only Rs. 3 billion by the end of the fiscal year. He said that Rs. 3 billion were earmarked for development of Bahawalpur but only Rs. 60 million were released. He said that the Punjab government continued the tradition of ignoring the South Punjab even during the 7th consecutive year. He said that the Shahbaz Sharif government plays to gallery by hiking the development budget every year but its ratio of utilization has been abysmally very low all along these years.