PESHAWAR : The Finance Department refused to release Rs1 billion – an amount requested to run the affairs of TransPeshawar – commonly known as BRT [Rapid Bus System] Peshawar which is the sole mass transit operating in the province but has been facing serious financial problems.
It was the Transport Department which made the request through a letter, explaining the reasons and the needs for the system that took several years for completion during the PTI 10-year-long rule in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after many delays and corruption allegations.
However, the probe into the BRT Peshawar affairs was stopped due to the court intervention, which was launched again under the current caretaker setup.
The letter addressed to the finance secretary reads that the transport department had asked for releasing Rs1 billion out for the fiscal year 2022-23 of which the amount released stood at Rs662.40 million.
According to the Transport Department, the said amount, however, lapsed for not being utilized during the stipulated period [fiscal year].
Later, the letter says, an inquiry committee was also formed to probe the lapsing of these funds. But Rs100bn are urgently required for which the finance department may look into and review the matter of lapsed funds.
The request comes as the caretaker government had allocated Rs1 billion as subsidy for TransPeshawar in the budget announced for the current fiscal year of 2023-24.
Previously, reports about not clearing the dues of the company operating the system have emerged on several occasions.
One the other hand, the caretaker transport minister at that time was of the view that the company should pay the arrears and vacate the main terminal as the lease period had ended in October 2022.