ISLAMABAD - To speed up the fund utilisation for various PSDP funded projects, of the Ministry of Planning, the ministry has delegated financial powers to project directors (PD) to all the projects.

Instead of hiring full time PDs to accelerate the work for the PSDP funded projects, the ministry has delegated some financial powers to project directors to all the projects under ministry , official source told The Nation. There are more than 33 PSDP funded projects of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms and 32 out of them, including CPEC Support Project and Vision 2025, are without full-time project directors . In absence of full-time project directors , chiefs, deputy chiefs and heads of the relevant sections are working as PDs of these projects on look after basis, sources said.

The already burdened staff of the planning ministry is in no way serious about performing the duties of devoted PDs which is hampering the smooth functioning of the these projects, the source said. Utilisation of funds for majority of the PSDP funded projects is very slow, the source said. However, instead of hiring full time PDs, for accelerating the utilisation of funds, the ministry evolved new method of delegating financial powers to the projects directors . The decision to delegate financial power will remove red tape to some extent from the utilisation of funds, but the key to make these projects more efficient and fast is hiring full time PDs, the source said.

The decision to delegate financial power was required as for small financial needs such as courier services PDs were required the approval of the secretary or additional secretary of the ministry , the source said. Now the PDs have got some financial freedom which will enable them to take quick decisions, the source added. According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Planning, the financial power delegated to PDs are related to over time, medical charges, postage and telegraph charges, fax charges, courier services, electricity charges, repair of transport, repair of machinery and equipments, repair of furniture and fixture. Besides financial powers for hardware, software and IT equipments were also delegated to the PDs, the source said. Earlier, the PDs were required to take the permission of the secretary or additional secretary for all these powers .

As per the notification, the PDs are authorised to approve up to Rs30,000 electricity charges, while from Rs30,000 to Rs50,000 electricity charges will require the additional secretary’s approval. Similarly for over time, up to Rs10,000 can be approved by the PDs, but from above Rs10,000 till Rs30,000 will require the approval of additional secretary. The PDs are authorised for the medical charges of Rs10,000 while amount above Rs10,000 to Rs50,000 will require the additional secretary approval.

For postage, telegraph, Fax charges and courier services the PDs are entitled to approve Rs10,000 for each service, however from Rs10,000 to Rs30,000 can be used with the approval of additional secretary. Similarly for transport, repair of machinery, equipment and furniture, PDs are allowed to use financial power up to Rs10,000 each, approval for Rs10,000 up to Rs30,000 will require the approval of the additional secretary. PD is also authorise to approve Rs10,000 each for hardware, software and IT equipments.