ISLAMABAD - The slow release of funds during the first quarter has hampered work on developmental schemes as 40 out of 43 projects of the Finance Ministry have zero release of funds during the first four months of fiscal 2015-16, The Nation has learnt reliably.

“The total allocation in the PSDP 2015-16 for the 43 projects were about Rs8,521 million but only Rs440 million were released for three projects during the first quarter,” an official source told The Nation here Tuesday. He said that some projects have not even received funds since the PML-N government took over the office in 2013. He said some provinces were becoming a less priority areas for the central government and therefore there is less lobbying in this regard. “Out of 43 projects of the Finance Ministry 12 were approved by the ECNEC while 11 were approved by the CDWP and the rest are under process but funds were only released for the three projects,” he maintained.

He said there are 22 projects in Balochistan, 17 in Sindh, 6 in KP and one in Punjab. “Funds were released only for three projects of Balochistan,” he added.

Major projects from Balochistan include allocation of Rs2,000 for Gawadar Development Authority, Rs1,000 million for the development of Ziarat Town, Rs146 million for Capacity Building of Teachers Training Institutions and Training of Elementary Schools Teachers in the province etc.

Major projects in Sindh include allocation of Rs1,000 million for the construction of two power plants of 50mw each at Syngas and Tharparkar, Rs500 million for Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme(K-IV) and Rs300 million Lyari Expressway Resettlement Project etc. Major projects in KP include allocation of Rs200 million Khyber Institute of Child Health & Children Hospital, Rs150 million for the Metalling of Road linking Chitral and Gilgit and Rs100 million for Widening and Carpeting of Booni-Buzand Torkhow Road Chitral etc.

The construction of the Life Saving Children Hospital in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been hit by lethargy, as the Planning Commission has failed to release authorisation for its construction. Out of Rs1,000 million allocated for the children hospital in KP, the federal government hardly released Rs200 million, the source said, adding no funds were released for the last two years.

The construction of the Khyber Institute of Child Health & Children Hospital in Peshawar was announced in 2012 by the then president Asif Ali Zardari but during last three years due to unavailability of funds, only 15 per cent work on the hospital has been completed, the source informed.

The lonely Punjab project is the Shahi Bagh Heritage Theme Park phase-I for which Rs100 million has been allocated in the PSDP. The quarterly ceiling for the PSDP is 20 per cent each for 1st and 2nd quarters, 25 per cent for 3rd quarter and 35 per cent for 4th quarter.

However, a government official informed that they release funds for the projects according to their demands and 20 per cent releases in the first quarters are not a hard and fast rule.

However funds were not released for some projects during the past two years and there are eight quarters in two years.