LAHORE - The Punjab government has directed the Punjab Accountant General (Foreign Aid Section) to pay stipend arrears amounting to Rs 60 million approx to interns of National Internship Programme, TheNation has learnt.
Earlier, the Finance Division had agreed to disburse Rs145 million to the provinces to clear dues of the NIP beneficiaries. Following the correspondence between the Centre and the Punjab government for outstanding stipend for interns, the federal government was ready to release the funds. The S&GAD had written a letter to the departments concerned in this regard saying: “The money will have to be utilised before June 30.” But the arrangements could not be made on time and the government had to release supplementary grant for the purpose.
Sources in the AG office told this scribe that the federal government had given the funds to the provincial AG which would disburse this amount to the departments and districts concerned. All the departments concerned were directed in advance to take necessary steps for the payment so that the expected funds might not lapse,” read the letter.
The details of funds to be released as supplementary grant to some districts amounting to Rs 55,615,368 are as following: Bahawalnagar Rs 2,000,000, DG Khan 2,200,000, Faisalabad Rs 5,060,000, Gujranwala Rs 1,060,000, Multan Rs18,230,000, Muzaffargarh Rs 1,300,000, Nankana Sahib Rs 2,500,000, Rawalpindi 7,000,000, Sahiwal Rs 3,010,000, Sargodha Rs 3,000,000, and Vehari Rs 2,915,000. The amount of Rs 2,369,350 will be given to the departments and Higher Education will get the maximum out of the lot amounting to Rs 1,247,352.
According to the programme, 100,000 graduates did internship under the programme for a year. The outstanding stipend for the Punjab interns was about Rs 60 million. Launched in 2007, the programme ended after the provinces refused to resume the programme over shortage of funds following the 18th Constitutional Amendment.