Seeks cooperation of opposition members to build infrastructure in district
HARIPUR: Amid some resistance from the opposition, Haripur nazim Adil Islam presented the first budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 worth Rs4.3 billion. The session took place on Wednesday and was chaired by Agha Shabbir, the naib nazim.
Islam said the funds under Provincial Finance Commission Award have yet to be released to the district government. “However, a development plan for the district has been chalked out,” he said.
Islam said it was vital for the members of the district government to collaborate and help develop Haripur. “I need your help to build health care facilities, provide modernised schools, increase access to potable water and empower women in Haripur,” he added. He outlined plans to install filtration plants in every village council to provide clean drinking water and prevent water-borne diseases. “All village councils will be responsible for the maintenance and management of these plants,” he said.
The district nazim also made councillors a part of the Parent Teacher Council in their respective UCs to ensure students get quality education. An IT centre will also be established at every “focal point” in the district so people have access to the internet, added Islam.
Islam said up to Rs4.3 billion has been allocated for both salary and non-salary budgets for 14 departments in the local government.
About Rs322.2 million has been set aside for the salary expenses of the district’s education department and Rs95 million has been allocated for its non-salary expenditures. Up to Rs24.1 million has been allocated for the non-salary budget of the health department and Rs271.5 million for salaries. For sports, culture and tourism, Rs0.8 million and Rs2.05 million was allocated to non-salary and salary budgets respectively.
Other departments were also allocated separate amounts in the budget.
Letting off steam
At the start of the budget session, the opposition leader from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Sahibzada Hamid Shah, sought permission for a point-of-order, which was denied. This resulted in shouting and sloganeering from both sides. The opposition members walked out, forcing the chair to suspend the meeting for 30 minutes. The members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, including the district nazim, went to the protesting members and successfully persuaded them to join them at the session.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2015.