KP govt urged to release uplift funds

Dir upper   -  A local government representative on Wednesday complained about the non-release of uplift funds and demanded the provincial government release the funds immediately to enable them to carry out projects of public interest in the area.

Talking to The Nation, Chairman Tehsil Council Dir Rafi Ullah Khan said the elected local bodies (LG) representatives were faced with numerous problems in running the affairs of their constituencies due to the non-release of funds. “Two and a half years have passed since the local government elections, but any funds are yet to be released or any powers given to the elected local government representatives,” he lamented.

He said that all the tehsil council chairmen and mayors have formed an Action Committee, and he is the representative of the committee representing the entire Malakand division. He said about 40,222 members, including 122 Tehsil Council chairmen and nine mayors, were elected in the 2022 local government elections across the province. “Not a single local bodies representative has been issued any funds or has any authority to solve problems in their constituencies, which is unjust,” he said.

He accused the provincial government of violating the Local Government Election Act 2019 by denying funds and powers to the local government representatives. He said they had filed a writ petition against the government in the Peshawar High Court (PHC). Rafi Ullah Khan said that the provincial government has allocated a huge sum for the Ramazan package and Sehat Cards but has not provided a single penny to the elected local government members. He said they lack funds to even pay salaries to the employees, adding that recently four employees of Dir TMA quit their jobs for not getting a salary for the past six months.

The Chairman appealed to the provincial government to provide them with funds and powers as soon as possible, otherwise, they will be compelled to launch a province-wide protest campaign for their rights.