An important meeting regarding the Provincial Annual Development Program was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan at the Civil Secretariat Peshawar on Tuesday. The meeting reviewed in detail the progress on the 3rd quarter of the Provincial Annual Development Program, the status of utilization of funds allocated and released for projects, monitoring and evaluation reports of development projects, projects nearing completion as well as proposed projects to be included in the new development program.
Apart from Chief Secretary Dr. Kazim Niaz and Additional Chief Secretary Shakeel Qadir, administrative secretaries of concerned departments also attended the meeting. Briefing about the release and utilization of development funds for the third quarter of the annual development program, it was informed that Rs. 124 billion had been released for the third quarter of the provincial annual development program and 62% of the released funds have been spent so far. The meeting was informed that 51% of the funds released for the second quarter of the annual development program had been spent. Similarly, the utilization rate of funds has improved by 11% in the third quarter, which is satisfactory.
The meeting also reviewed the funds allocated for the development projects included in the annual development program during the last five years, the funds released, and the situation of their utilization. It was informed that during the last five years, the rate of disbursement and utilization of development funds has been the highest in the financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21. In the third quarter of the current annual development program, the meeting was informed that during the third quarter, 11 projects have been approved by the Central Development Working Party, 252 by the Provincial Development Working Party, and 112 by the Departmental Development Working Party.
The meeting was informed about the projects nearing completion that out of a total of 800 development projects, 621 projects are in the process of completion which will be completed by the end of this financial year. Regarding the monitoring and evaluation reports on development projects during the current financial year, it was informed that so far 2246 monitoring reports have been prepared and sent to the concerned departments out of which 1586 reports have also received feedback from the departments.
The meeting was briefed on the progress of the third quarter of the annual development program in terms of individual performance in various sectors. It was informed that the Department of Industry came first with 100% utilization of released funds, followed by the Department of Energy with 82%. The Department of Transport came in third with 79 percent.
The meeting was also apprised of the details of funds released for development projects of various departments for the third quarter and it was informed that Rs 10.43 billion for primary and secondary education projects, Rs 6.8 billion for higher education department projects, Rs 15 billion was released for health sector projects, Rs 20 billion for road projects, Rs 11 billion for irrigation projects, Rs 5.7 billion for tourism and sports and a total of Rs 124 billion for development projects. The meeting was also briefed on the new projects proposed by the departments for inclusion in the next annual development program.
In his address to the meeting, the Chief Minister termed the utilization rate of development funds released during the third quarter as satisfactory and stressed the need to further improve it so that 100 percent utilization of development funds released by the end of the financial year might be assured. Calling the timely completion of development projects a top priority of his government, he directed the heads of all departments to ensure progress on development projects as per the timelines so as to ensure their timely completion and the people without any delay take benefits of these projects. He directed the Administrative Secretaries to hold regular meetings to review the progress on development projects under their respective departments and take necessary steps to remove the obstacles in the way of progress on these development projects in a timely manner. The Chief Minister directed the officials of the Health and Industry Department to prepare and approve the plan for setting up at least two oxygen plants in the province as soon as possible for uninterrupted supply of oxygen to Corona patients in the hospitals in view of the present situation of Corona.