ISLAMABAD

Bureaucracy in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa was Monday blamed for creating hurdles in the implementation of developmental projects and virtually ruling the province.

“In Punjab and Sindh if you require Chief Minister’s approval you get it within 24 hours but in KP it takes a minimum of two months to get the CM’s signature,” an official of the KP government told The Nation here.

Even the approval of the PC-I of some of the projects was delayed by nine to ten months, the official informed. “How can you complete a project on time if its completion time is two years, and its takes almost a year in its approval stage?” the official asked sarcastically.

“Chief secretary, additional chief secretary, finance secretary, senior chief P&D, secretary energy and power are all creating hurdles in the approval of the projects,” the official maintained.

The projects in almost all the important sectors including hydro power, oil and gas, education, infrastructure and roads development are being delayed because of the bureaucratic red tapism, the official alleged.

The construction of hydel power projects including Machi, Ranalia, Jabori, Koto, were massively delayed, the official said. Similarly Swat expressway, Khushal Khan University and the construction of technical laboratory for oil and gas sector are facing delay in its approval.

Similarly, the file for the financing of different hydro projects is also moving around between provincial P&D and Finance departments for the last one year. “KP government has planned to develop 4000MW electricity in the province and requires a $1.2 billion for the purpose,” the official said.

To get such a big amount it was required that the province should corporatize the Pukhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) and hence the file was moved in this regard, the official revealed. “Interestingly the file is waiting for the approval since September 2014,” the official added.

Furthermore, last year the federal government transferred Rs 27 million for the KP health department and its withdrawal was delayed by the provincial authorities for more than two months, the official confided.

Earlier, the provincial bureaucracy were giving the impression that they are not working in full swing because of the high-handedness of Accountability Commission and alleged that the Accountability Commission is embarrassing the bureaucrats community and has made several arrests, prior the investigation, but failed to bring proofs against any.

But then, Imran Khan himself came to the province and assured that they (provincial bureaucracy) don’t need to be afraid if they are not corrupt.

Besides bureaucratic lethargy some high officiasl are not giving full time to the affairs of the province. “Have you seen a part time additional chief secretary in any province?” the official questioned and added: “Visit Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and you will see one”.

Additional Chief Secretary KP also works as a Director General Pakistan Forest Institute (PFI). Both, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) and DG are full-time jobs and this is affecting work, mainly because of the lack of attention.

Director General Pakistan Forest Institute is a lower-ranked post than ACS but is lucrative and therefore attractive. “Provincial Secretary Forest and Director General Pakistan Forest Institute both work under Additional Chief secretary and technically ACS and DG cannot be the same person,” the official opined.

No one in the province, including chief minister, can interfere in the affairs of provincial bureaucracy. During the tenure of PTI government, four secretaries for energy and power and three finance secretaries have so far been transferred, the official said and added that even the frequent changes didn’t improve the efficiency of the provincial bureaucracy.