Budget delay slows Ghazni development projects
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): A delay in the disbursement of promised funds has created prevented the timely implementation of development projects in southern Ghazni province, officials complain.
The budget for Ghazni’s preparation for 2013, when it will serve as City of Islamic Culture for the Asian region, has yet to reach the province, Ghazni governor Musa Khan Akbarzada told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Akbarzada acknowledged that weaknesses in some local departments also made it difficult to spend development money.
Major parts of thirteen Ghazni districts, including Ghazni City, are reportedly under the control of militants, meaning development projects also face security challenges.
But the deputy head of the provincial council, Amanullah Kamrani, asked the government to increase the province’s annual development budget. He said the province should be prioritized in the national budget because of its population, size, and needs.
The province is 22,460.5 square kilometres, with a population of about 1.5 million and a population density of about 49 people per square km, according to official statistics.
Promised funds are neither given to the province on time nor spent on needed infrastructure projects, he said.
Karim, head of the Provincial Development Committee (PDC), said that the people of Ghazni need more support and that funds should arrive on time to the province. He said that very often promises for funds were only words.
“Last year, $10 million was allocated by the Finance Ministry, while the Urban Development Ministry specified $7 million for the province to prepare for 2013. Unfortunately we have yet to receive the money despite regular requests,” he said.
He explained that provincial government departments prioritise projects for the development budget. Then the Provincial Development Department decides where to spend the funds.
He said the province can spend its funds efficiently if they are provided on time, but that last year’s development funds from the Public Works Department did not arrive until the fourth quarter of the year. By that time, the funds could not be spent due to winter conditions, so the money was returned.
Karim also acknowledged that security problems in the province had caused delays and problems in development projects.
Dr. Hamayun, head of the Unity Council, complained that the money allocated for Ghazni had not been spent on people’s priorities, and that many youth were still jobless.
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