Kandahar yet to receive development funds
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Governor Toryalai Weesa on Wednesday said the development budget allocated to southern Kandahar province eight months ago was yet to be fully received.
Weesa was addressing a conference in Kandahar City, where governors of Helmand, Uruzgan, Zabul and Daikundi and ministers of finance, public health, rural development and public works were also in attendance.
The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) chief and provincial civil and military officials also attended the conference on the security situation, good governance and development activities in southern provinces.
Weesa, who hosted the event, said the situation in Kandahar had improved, with all the 18 districts currently being controlled by the government.
He added 90 percent of schools were operational across the province, providing education to 200,000 children -- one-third of them girls. Businessmen had invested millions of dollars in Kandahar, he claimed.
However, he said some problems remained, hindering efforts at executing development scheme. The delay in release of development funds to the province by the central government was one of the major problems, the governor noted.
On good governance, Weesa said district officials remained deprived of incentives and facilities and hence their unwillingness to perform their duties regularly and efficiently.
He asked ministries to appoint officials in provinces by taking governors into confidence. Incompetent individuals were often given jobs in provinces, he maintained.
On efforts at maintaining security, Weesa called for cooperation between neighbouring provinces in case of counterinsurgency operations to prevent militants from fleeing.
He also listed the shortage of bomb disposal personnel, equipment and air force to assist ground troops as some of the key problems facing the province. The governor announced fortunately no new polio case had so far surfaced in southern zone this year.
IDLG chief Abdul Khaliq Farahi said the situation in Kandahar had a direct effect on the entire southern zone. He asked the governors to enhance cooperation and make efforts at winning people’s confidence.
Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said efforts were ongoing to ensure provinces received their respective budgets well in time. He said affairs of projects worth less than a million US dollars would be handled by the governors to effectively implement such schemes.
He added reconstruction work would be launched soon on roads in Maroof and Arghistan district and the road leading to Kandahar airport. The Spin Boldak border town would be extended five megawatts of electricity.
Zakhiwal promised northern provinces would be connected with southern parts of the country through a highway, the first phase of which was being initiated from Kandahar.
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