Nazims withdraw protest call after release of funds
By Our Correspondent
MANSEHRA: The nazims of Mansehra`s village and neighbourhood councils have withdrawn the call for protest following the release of the last tranche of development funds by the finance department.
`We consider you our strength and that is why we, despite facing many financial problems, have transferred Rs126 million to the bank accounts of your local bodies,` local government director Faiz Ahmad told a meeting of village and neighbourhood councils nazims here on Tuesday.
Local government department deputy director Ziaur Rehman Jadoon was also present on the occasion.
Nazim Ittehad president Mohammad Fareed and general secretary Basharat Ali announced that the nazims of Mansehra`s 194 village and neighbourhood councils had decided not to hold the June 15 protest against the government in light of the development.
They said the LG director had also promised the early release of non-development part of the budget.
The director said the provincial government was aware of the problems facing local bodies and was making every effort to efficiently and effectively address them.
He said his department had also asked the finance department for money to pay honorarium to councillors and rent of the local bodies`offices.
Mr Ahmad said over 42,000 LG representativesand 3,501 nazims served the people across the province and therefore, the government wanted to provide them with the best possible facilities.
Nazim Ittehad president Mohammad Fareed thanked the LG department for the release of funds and said the money would help ease the problems of local bodies.
He said the of fices of most village and neighbourhood councils had been closed for non-payment of rent and that the release of nondevelopment funds allocated for the current fiscal would end their problems completely.
Nazim Ittehad general secretary Basharat Ali demanded local bodies be given back 50 per cent deducted from the last year`s development budget and 20 per cent taken from the current`s.
`The provincial government has cut almost 70 per cent of our development funds during the two years.
All these deductions should be reversed,` he said.
TRADERS THREATEN: Local traders on Tuesday threatened to take to the streets against the prolonged and unscheduled power outages.
`The excessive power cuts have hit our business veryhard andifthe government doesn`t reduce their duration to four hours daily, we (traders) will agitate, trader leader Mohammad Fiaz Solari told reporters here.
He said electricity remained suspended for more than 16 hours daily in Mansehra and adjoining areas and ironically, power cuts were reported in Sehar and Iftar hours, too.
Mr Solari said instead of making tall claims about its achievements in energy sector during the last four years, the government should execute projects, which promised smooth electric supply to the people.