Ministry still to acquire land as funds lapse twice

Islamabad – Ministry of Human Rights has yet to complete PC-1 for acquisition of land to construct building for National Institute of Human Rights, Islamabad for which an amount of Rs112 million had been allocated in the current budget.

According to data available on official website of Planning Commission, an amount of Rs250 million was allocated for the project last year under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2016-17), which lapsed due to non-utilisation and as a result, this year, the money was cut down to less than 50 per cent.

Till passage of half of the current fiscal year, not a single penny of the allocated amount was released as the PC-I of the project is still under consideration.

Federal Minister for HR Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar while replying to a query regarding acquisition of land for the project said that they have asked Capital Development Authority (CDA) to identify suitable land for the institute with easy accessibility and other requirements, so that PC-I of the project could be forwarded.

The National Institute of Human Rights (NIHR), Islamabad is one of the major projects of Ministry of Human Rights for training, capacity building and creating awareness among masses on the issues of human rights and the ways to protect their legal and fundamental rights.

An amount of Rs27 million was allocated in the current budget for establishment of the institute and an amount of Rs16 million has been released to the ministry for the project so far, revealed official data of the Planning Commission.

However, for establishment of the NIHR, an amount of Rs58.7 million was allocated in the last fiscal year, 2016-17, of which only Rs10 million was utilised and the remaining amount was lapsed.

When contacted, Director General International Coordination Muhammad Hassan Mangi said that establishment of the NIHR was among top priorities of the government and it was monitored at high level to expedite its completion. The DG, who is also official spokesman of the ministry, further said, “Request for hiring of initial staff for the Institute has been forwarded so that people at grass roots level can be facilitated,” he added.

He said that they had also asked for a piece of land to construct a permanent building of the institute where proper facilities could be provided. “Major academic and training institutions are working in H series of sectors of the federal capital; our priority is to get land in any main place of the city easily accessible for general public”, he said.

A reliable source in the HR Ministry on condition of anonymity said that the institute had not started functioning and still existed in papers only. He added that the development section of the ministry was not working properly and misguided the ministry officials that they had started consultations on the project.

 

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