A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) was held on Tuesday. Chairman Committee, Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman chaired the meeting; that was attended by Senator Anwar Lal Dean, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Senator Danesh Kumar, Senator Dost Muhammad Khan, Senator Gurdeep Singh, Senator Hidyat Ullah, Senator Haji Hidayat Ullah Khan, Senator Shamim Afridi and senior officers of the Ministry Sates and Frontier Regions, Department of Finance Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Accountant General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Discussing details of approved and executed schemes via AIP and ADP in merged districts; the Committee showed displeasure regarding discrepancy in data presented by the Accountant General Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and figures submitted by the Department of Finance, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Chairman Committee, while reviewing the submitted details pointed towards financial bungling. Secretary SAFRON recommended that the two departments must run a joint review of the numbers after which details could be re-submitted to the Committee for review. It was revealed that details of 8 districts had been reviewed and submitted to the Committee; results of which varied extensively showing a discrepancy of PKR 23 billion in 2018-19 and PKR 8 billion in 2020. Chairman Committee, Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman was of the view that, as feared earlier, merged areas of FATA remained a non-priority for both the Federal Government and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He directed that completely reviewed, with proper break-up of released and utilized funds be submitted to the Committee in the next meeting.
Discussing financial progress of projects, it was revealed that the Insaf Rozgar Scheme had let out PKR 10,000 billion to local banks on a 4 percent mark-up; which were now responsible of criteria setting of beneficiaries and disbursement of funds.
Reviewing the final report by Secretary SAFRON on the Point of Public Importance raised by Senator Hidayat Ullah regarding arising problems in merged FATA districts; the Committee was informed of the issues and challenges faced by the government that included timely release of funds for government planned projects.
While being briefed by Director General Soil Conservation the Committee was informed of the two projects in merger districts conducted by AIP and ADP related to rain water harvesting and ground water recharge respectively. Dissatisfied by the presented data the Committee directed that the matter be taken up at a later date after reassessment of data.
The Committee took strict notice of Fata related vacancies being filled by non-Fata human resource.