PESHAWAR  - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Commission has decided to make a drastic decrease in discretionary quota of Chief Minister and Finance Minister for district development. This five times reduction in development funds would squeeze the quota of chief minister from 10 per cent to only 2 per cent and that of provincial Finance Minister from 5 per cent to mere one per cent. This decision with consensus recommendation of the members of the commission would be implemented in next financial year following the formal approval from the chief minister.

It has decided in a meeting of the PFC that was chaired by Provincial Finance Minister Muzaffar Syed Advocate at Civil Secretariat Peshawar wherein besides PFC members, District and Tehsil Nazims, secretaries of Finance, Local Government and Law, the KP Senior Minister for LG Inayatullah Khan were also in attendance. Muzaffar Syed while appreciating the viable consultation and recommendations of the participants said that the KP government for 1st time in history was minimising its discretionary powers in gradual manner. He said his government was pursuing the policy of development and would transfer all powers to grassroots level for empowering the masses in real sense. He expressed the confidence that these steps would greatly contribute in expediting the pace of development in the province.

The minister also approved and substantiated another consensus recommendation of the commission to distribute the district development funds among the local governments this year according to the old PFC formula so that the ongoing development process was not hampered and funds distribution and utilisation could be ensured on fast track basis.

Under the old PFC formula of 60 per cent on population, 20 per cent backwardness and 20 per cent lag in infrastructure, the districts would receive total funds of Rs30,274 million wherein village and neighborhood councils would be given funds to the tune of Rs13,100 million while Rs8,550 million each would be transferred to tehsil and district councils out of the provincial resources to be spent on development schemes through respective councils.

Muzaffar Syed directed the concerned authorities to ensure implementation of this decision viz the transparent and judicious distribution of funds under old formula soon after getting nod of the Chief Minister as well as evolving effective vigilance over the expenditures on development process. He further asked for enacting the new PFC formula of distribution of 50 per cent funds on population basis, 25 per cent on poverty, 20 per cent on lag in infrastructure and 5 per cent on local revenue basis soon after the start of next fiscal year so that administrative problems were timely solved and hurdles removed to get positive and far–reaching results of the funds.