Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Tuesday launched a Euro 80 million European Union assisted District Governance & Community Development Program for the militancy and terrorism hit six districts of Malakand Division.
The Senior Minister Finance and Planning Sirajul Haq was the Chief Guest at the ceremony while Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan, Deputy Head of EU delegation Pierre Mayudon, Director Asia, Central Asia, Middleeast/Gulf and Pacific of EuropeAid Dirk Meganck, Secretary Finance Syed Said Badshah Bukhari and Director of the programe Akmal Minallah also spoke on the occasion. Besides MNA Sahibzada Tariqullah, Additional Chief Secretary (Planning) Khalid Parvez, Commissioner Malakand, the function was also participated in by a large number of delegates from European Union, public representatives, and senior government officers.
The programme is aimed to contribute towards an effective development and peace building strategy for the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that supports transformation of its functioning, making it more accountable and providing equitable opportunities for better health, education and employment. The target districts included Malakand proper, Swat, Shangla, Dir Lower, Dir Upper and Chitral. It is to reform public administration at district level; and to improve service delivery and promote economic growth through promotion of community driven development in the Region.
The program will increase investment in community development in the target area responding to specific local demands, and provide an inclusive, representative system of community mobilisation that federates villages exists in all union councils of the Malakand division.
It will enhance human, technical and organisational capacities of district and tehsil government agencies to support community driven development and be more service and outcome oriented.
The program addresses three strategic objectives of the Post-Crisis Needs Assessment (PCNA) which included building responsiveness and effectiveness of the State to restore citizens’ trusts stimulate employment and livelihood opportunities and ensure the delivery of basic services.
Out of the total of Euro 80 million an amount of EU 64 million has been allocated to sector budget support to create fiscal space for CDLD in districts, EU 7.5 Million for capacity building of local government officials and EU 7.3 Million for Community Mobilisation.
Addressing on the occasion Senior Minister Sirajul Haq termed the program as a flag ship of community driven initiative for development and appreciated the European Union and their tax payers for wholeheartedly contributing to it.
He said that it would supplement the government efforts to address the causes of conflict in the area and provide support to the people at the gross rout. He hoped that it would eradicate the root cause of the distrust between the citizens and the state.
He said that the local people always made the best use of the resources and the government was committed to their empowerment that was why it had been providing the right to access to information to the people at large.
Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan pointed out that the KP government had gone beyond the level of union council to the village level devolution of powers and the recently passed Local Government Act had restored the pre- colonial village unit of decision making.
He said that the new law under which elections were expected to be conducted in April next year, the village council would be the basic unit where elections would be held on non-party basis while unlike tehsil and district level where the nazims would be elected on party basis from amongst the locally elected ones and each of whom, i.e., the tehsil nazims and the districts nazims would elect two members for the Provincial Finance Commission where previously such members were nominated ones.
The Secretary Finance Syed Said Badshah Bukhari in his address pin pointed salient features of the priorities of the Provincial government which included Ensuring fiscal discipline through avoidance of deficit financing, investing in economic growth, improving service delivery through consolidation instead of expansion, improving financial management systems and governance to introduce economy, efficiency and effectiveness in social sector spending, upgrading security apparatus and improved revenue collection through reforming revenue collecting agencies.
He pointed out that KP had been considered the most serious in ensuring transparency and community driven development initiatives.
The delegates from EU on this occasion assured full support to the KP government’s initiatives and hoped that their partnership in development would continue.