MPAs call for transparency in funds’ use

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QUETTA: Lawmakers taking part in debate on the Balochistan budget on Tuesday called for transparency in the utilisation of development funds and proposed that in order to ensure clarity funds should be spent through departments concerned. From treasury benches, Abdur Rahim Ziaratwal, Sardar Aslam Bizenjo, Nawab Mohammad Khan Shahwani, Syed Liaquat Agha, Syed Reza Agha, Santosh Kumar, Obaidullah Babat, Haji Islam Baloch, Sarfaraz Bugti and Sardar Reza Mohammad Barach spoke during the session presided over by Speaker Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali.

Holding the previous government responsible for corruption and other problems facing the province, they said it did not follow the due process in utilising development funds.

The legislators said the present coalition government had little time for preparation of budget, yet it had tried its best to come up with solutions to people’s problems. However, they added, the issues cannot be resolved overnight.

The house was informed that the provincial government had talked to the federal government for building a power transmission line from Dera Ismail Khan to Zhob to overcome electricity shortage in the province. Condemning terror attacks, the members said the poor security situation was affecting development activities in the province.

They referred to national highways in the province and asked the government to improve the condition of roads from Quetta to Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan and Chaman.

From the opposition, Haji Gul Mohammad Domarh, Haji Malik Kakar, Sardar Abdur Rehman Khetran and Shahdiya Rauf took part in the debate and called for addressing the problems of lawlessness, unemployment and loadshedding.

They asked the government to create jobs and said that appointments in the public sector departments should be made on merit. They also sought steps for improving tourism in Ziarat valley.

The pointed out that import of apple from Iran was affecting local growers and asked the government to impose tax on its import. In response to points raised by Jaffar Khan Mandokhel and Mir Karim Nausherwani, the speaker asked the chief minister to discuss with the federal government the amnesty scheme for registered vehicles or file an appeal in the Supreme Court against a verdict of the Islamabad High Court.

The members said 52,000 vehicles had been registered under the amnesty scheme and the government treasury had received Rs16 billion in registration tax, but the IHC’s verdict had affected the owners of such vehicles.