ISLAMABAD  - The Planning Commission has refused to approve funds for the suspended and devolved projects of the devolved ministries, saying that the High Powered Committee does not have the mandate to restore the suspended or devolved projects.

An official familiar with the matter told Online Saturday that Planning Commission refuses to endorse the decisions of Khurshid Shah’s High Powered Committee on post devolution matters.

The High Powered Committee, in its meeting held on March 30, restored the federal components of seven out of eight projects of the defunct Ministry of Food and Agriculture and allocated them to Ministry of National Food Security and Research to meet the requirements of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB). The committee instructed Planning Commission and Finance to release funds to the restored projects.

“The secretary Planning Commission, Asif Bajwa has categorically rejected to approve any funding for the restored projects, the official said, quoting Asif Bajwa to have said that he does not accept the decision of Kurshid Shah’s committee. He is of the opinion that the projects were devolved and suspended with the consent of the prime minister and the High Powered Committee is not a superior forum to reverse the decision.

Federal components of National Programme for the Improvement of Watercourses in Pakistan, Agriculture sector Development Loan (federal Component), Establishment of Facilitation Unit for Participatory Vegetable Seed, Nursery Production Programme, Commercialization of Tea Production through Public Private Partnership, National Project to Stimulate the Adaptation of Permanent Raised Bed in Maize, Wheat and Cotton, Wheat Farming System in Pakistan and Special Programme for Food Security and Productivity Enhancement of Small Farmers in 1012 villages. It was also decided by the High Powered Committee that the devolved projects should be retained at federal level as per their original approval and allocated to Ministry of National Food Security & Research.

The included Special Programme for Food Security and Productivity Enhancement of Small Farmers in 1012 villages. CMP-II, Restructuring and Strengthening of National Agri RES system in Balochistan, Development of Olive Production and Processing in Balochistan, Growing of Oil palm in Coastal belt in Balochistan and Oil Palm Development Project in Sindh and Balochistan.

Around Rs.500 million is the total demand against these projects for the year 2012-13 and Rs. 350 million as outstanding amount for the present financial year. It must be mentioned here that the entire staff of all these projects are working without getting any salary, since the devolution of the projects in June, 2011.