Govt to release mega development funds

——- Interim govt to release Rs29bn in development funds
——- 24-member committee, constituted to monitor release of funds, includes Senators from PML-N, PPP, PTI, JUI-F

By Anzal Amin

ISLAMABAD: The incumbent caretaker government, led by Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, is set to release Rs29 billion in development funds for the first time in the country’s history, sources sais on Wednesday.
The federal cabinet has also constituted a 24-member steering committee — headed by caretaker Minister for Communication Shahid Ashraf Tarar — to monitor and supervise the release of funds, said official sources.
The committee, which includes four caretaker ministers also comprises senators belonging to Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), National Party (NP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and senior officials of ministries and divisions concerned.
The previous Shehbaz Sharif-led government reserved Rs90 billion for development funds for the fiscal year 2023-2024, out of which Rs61 billion was released in four months.
The sources said the PPP and other parties have raised the issue of failure to release the remaining development funds.
Headed by the caretaker minister for communication, the steering committee also includes federal ministers Sarfraz Bugti, Dr Nadeem Jan, Madad Ali Sindhi; senators Danesh Kumar (BAP), Palwasha Khan (PPP), Irfan Siddiqui (PML-N), Mohsin Aziz (PTI), Kamran Murtaza (JUI-F), Syed Faisal Sabswari (MQM-P), Tahir Bazinjo (NP), Arbab Umar Farooq (ANP), Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen (PkMAP) and federal secretaries for finance, planning and development, petroleum, power, housing and development.
The steering committee also comprises the Punjab Planning and Development Board chairman and Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh development additional secretaries. It will also have the power to cancel or stop the release of development funds for any scheme.
Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi, when approached to comment on the formation of the steering committee, said it was not in his knowledge.
“I have no knowledge of that,” he said in a one-liner.