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
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.