SHC directs expediting fund release for MPAs’ schemes

Karachi: Sindh High Court SHC on Thursday directed Sindh Secretary Finance Department and Additional Chief Secretary Planning and Development Department to expedite the process of securitization of the development schemes in order to release funds to the members of provincial assembly and submit compliance report before next hearing.

The petitioners, members of provincial assembly, Abdul Razzaq Rahimoon representing PS63 Tharparkar IV, Nuzhat Pathan from PS157 Tharparkar, Cheetan Mal from PS168 Thano Bula Khan district Jamshoro, and Arbab Zulfiqar Ali from PS61 Tharparkar II moved court through separate petitions seeking funds for executing development schemes at their respective constituencies.

They cited government of Sindh through Secretary of Finance department and Additional Chief Secretary Planning and development department as respondents.

The petitioners submitted that they had contested elections and elected as representatives of their constituencies and therefore it was their responsibility and duty to work for wellbeing of people of their constituencies.

They stated that in the previous year, they proposed development schemes for their constituencies which was in line with the Tameer-e-Pakistan program and also falling under the Sindh Rural Revitalization Program 201112.

They submitted that such schemes were tabled in the meeting of Department Development Working Party DDWP for their approval held on 20th February 2012 where proposal were examined and approved. They, however, added that despite approval of funds for development schemes by DDWP for year 201112 funds remained unreleased to them while same funds were released in favour of MPAs of ruling party.

They submitted that minister for finance for period 201213 had given budget speech in which he had announced that each MPA shall be given funds to extent of Rs. 60 million, but “despite lapse of considerable time and also fact that funds under program have been released to various MPAs but approved fund for the development schemes have not been released to them”, they added.

They said that act of deliberately not releasing funds to them was nothing but to victimize them and people of their constituencies.

They appealed to court to declare that after approval of schemes by DDWP the government officials are bound to release the funds for development schemes.

They also prayed to court to direct the civic officials to immediately release the funds.

A division bench comprising of Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Sadiq Hussain Bhatti observed that Dr Noor ul Haq special secretary planning and development department has shown appearance on behalf of the respondent no. 2. He has made certain averments which do not tally with the comments filed by learned AAG on behalf of the respondent no.2.

Court also directed respondent no.2 to place on record entire procedure and relevant rule of business for further process of the petitioner’s case in hand before the next date of hearing and put off the hearing till 1112013.