Sharmila promises probe into
Karachi: Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister on Information, Sharmila Faruqui, has categorically denied the contents of a story carried by City News on November 22, but has promised that the government will carry out a probe to ascertain the actual situation on ground.
Sharmila stated that the Government of Sindh, in order to improve the general condition and environment of the schools of Sindh, has initiated a programme under Sindh Education Reform Program (SERP). SERP is a government driven and development partners, i.e. the World Bank and European Union, supported programme. Under the programme, school rehabilitation grant, SMCs grants, Stipends for girls students and free Text Books are provided.
She further stated that The School Rehabilitation grant is being provided to existing schools to provide shelter to shelter less schools, add class rooms in crowded schools and to provide basic facilities to schools. The Finance Department, Government of Sindh, directly transfers funds to district governments. Up till now, more than Rs. 4.5 billion have been provided to 23 district governments in two phases. In 1st phase Rs. 2.3 billion grant was transferred by the Finance Departments vide letter No. DB/B&E-XII/SERP-BGP (6)/2008-09 dated 12th November 2008 by the Finance Department. The funds have been transferred to Account-IV of the District Government. The District Coordination Officer is the Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) of all the funds released to the districts, she added.
For 2nd phase, also called Top-II, Rs. 101.380 million have been provided to the District Government Jacobabad. The District Development Committee (DDC) is the competent forum to approve PC-1s, and District Coordination Officer (DCO) Jacobabad is the chairman of the DCC. The District Education Works Department is the executing agency for capital works and Districts Education Department is the executing agency for revenue budget. The Third Party Engineering Firm is Responsible for validating the schools needs and provide technical input and supervision during design and construction phase.
Sharmila also stated that the SERP activities are regulated by the an Agreement through which district governments are mandated to utilize the provincial grant funds while following all codal formalities and ensuring due diligence. Districts also share monthly utilization reports with provincial government. RSU has received utilization report worth Rs. 1.289 billion from districts. District Larkana and District Kambar at Shahdadkot are on top with more than 95% utilization. Similar reports are also received from District Jacobabad. The District Officer Education Works Jacobabad in his letter of dated 10-11-2010 has informed that Rs. 50 million have been consumed by the district up to October 2010.
The News item further claims that EDO F&P had written a letter to Provincial government informing the misuse of the budget funds. However, no such letter has been received in Reform Support Unit, RSU has already written a letter to district administration, in response to news item, to explain the situation. Further Investigation will be carried out to get the actual situation on ground, she maintained.
Source: The News