FATA too should get share in NFC award: Senate body

WEB DESK: A parliamentary panel on Wednesday demanded that Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) should also be given share in distribution of resources from the federal divisible pool in National Finance Commission (NFC) award for the uplift and development of the militancy-hit areas of the country.

The Senate Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), which met here with Senator Hilalur Rehman in the chair, discussed the spending of budgetary allocations for FATA in the FY2015-16.

After detailed discussion, the committee unanimously recommended to the federal government that FATA should also be given a proper share in the NFC award with a view that the most neglected areas of the country be brought at par with the settled areas.

The proposal was earlier floated by Senator Usman Kakar, a special invitee, who pointed out that FATA being the most neglected region of the country, has been the worst victim of terrorism.

He said that thousands of homes and schools have been damaged due to the ongoing militancy as well as the military operations in FATA and it was unfortunate that the government has no special plan in hand to compensate the tribal people.

The committee also took notice of the delay in release of funds to various projects under execution and called upon the federal government to release the funds on proper time so that the uplift projects are completed on time.

The senators also called for increase in public sector allocations in the upcoming federal budget for FATA with a view to improve the life standards of the tribal people with enhanced healthcare and educational programmes.

They were of the view that FATA is the worst victim of the terrorism on one hand while on the other deprivation has been increased due to negligence of the government.

Officials of the FATA Secretariat, while briefing the committee, pointed out that the delay in release of funds to the ongoing projects was badly effecting the execution of work and timely completion of various development schemes.

The chair, in his observation, stated that the people of FATA had rendered numerous sacrifices for the country and it was necessary to expedite the pace of development projects by allocating more funds.

While taking up the issue of irregularities in recruitment process of Federal Levis in district Musakhel, the panel took strong notice of the alleged irregularities and constituted a sub-committee to hold a thorough probe into the matter and submit its report.

Senator Sardar Azam Khan Mosakhel, who brought the issue in the notice of the committee, stated that the recruitment was made by bypassing merit and no legal procedure was adopted in the entire process.

Senator Kakar while speaking on the issue said that the recruitment was made on the basis of nepotism, adding that merit was not followed in the entire process. – Business Recorder