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NCHD to need PC-1 for fund allocations
The News
By Mehtab Haider
Wednesday April 22,2009

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to shift funding of National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) from current expenditures to development spending.

The move would bind the NCHD authorities for the first time to come up with PC-1 to get funds from the Budget 2009-10, it is learnt. “Yes, we have directed the NCHD to come up with the PC-1 from the next fiscal year as it has been shifted from current expenditures to development spending,” the official spokesman for the Planning Commission confirmed while talking to The News here on Tuesday.

The government has also decided in principle that the name of the NCHD, which was the brainchild of Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf, would not be changed. The NCHD would continue to function in order to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in areas of basic education and health.

The NCHD was created by a friend of General Musharraf, Dr Nasim Ashraf, who remained outside the scope of audit and accountability and was given an initial grant of Rs2 billion, followed by more hundreds of millions during Musharraf days.

Faryal Talpur is looking after NCHD, which falls under the jurisdiction of Cabinet Division. The NCHD cannot spend any money without having approval of its head so for the time being this responsibility has been handed over to Faryal Talpur of PPP Parliamentarians to run its daily affairs.

Sharing more details, the sources said that the government earmarked Rs429 for NCHD during the ongoing fiscal year out of which Finance Ministry released Rs273 million. The remaining Rs156 million has not yet been released.

When spokesman of the NCHD was contacted on Tuesday, he also confirmed that the government has not yet released Rs156 million for the NCHD. “We are anxiously waiting and don’t know when the funds will be released,” he concluded.

An official report about NCHD, available with The News revealed that the Commission was basically aimed at improving social indicators to meet MDGs but it also utilized funds for getting 451 latest model vehicles, 1,217 motor cycles, 7,280 pieces of office equipment including generators, air conditioners, fans, IT services etc, 65 laptops, 1,861 computers, 17,696 pieces of furniture, 655 printers and 56 bicycles.

The available funds will be utilized only for continuation of Universal Primary Education (UPE) and for administrative expenses of the NCHD for the ongoing fiscal year 2008-09.

“It was the unanimous view that NCHD should not be liquidated at this stage when donors are concerned and likely to withdraw their support,” the official report said and added that the decision to continue certain programmes of the Commission and recommended that the largest and most important of these being the Feeder School Programmes should continue but in more focused and targeted manner.

The reactivation of 17,980 Feeder Schools in 94 districts with an approved budget of Rs449 million has been initiated. For providing matching grants, the government also approved to run a viable literacy programme for which a policy will be formulated to attract foreign donors.

“It was also decided to monitor the performance of the working staff of the NCHD and all out efforts should be made to protect assets of the Commission,” the official document stated.

According to outlined expenditures for running Feeder Schools estimated by the Finance Committee, the official documents show that financing requirement stood at Rs581.936 million out of which district set up would cost Rs505.760 million, regional set up Rs69.840 million, and Project Management Unit Rs6.336 million.

Total administrative cost for the NCHD stood at Rs102.3 million for one year with Staff Cost Rs19.3 million, Head Office Expenses (including POL etc) Rs2.4 million, totalling the cost of head office to the tune of Rs21.7 million.

The staff cost of 38 clusters district would require Rs62 million, utilities cost of 38 clusters Rs4.6 million and rent of 38 clusters Rs14 million, totalling the cost to the tune of Rs80.6 million for one year.




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